Brain disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, stroke or head injury often result in decreased muscle tone (spasticity), weakness and/or loss of coordination. Certain neurological conditions can make the brain regard a body part as though it is not part of the self (neglect), causing an affected limb to be used less and less.
When the limb is moved deliberately and repeatedly as with the pedalling of Viscus, signals are sent to the brain promoting alternate neural connections. This beneficial effect is known as neuroplasticity.
Joint Lubrication and Nutrition
Our joint surfaces are covered by a smooth white slippery cartilage. Living cartilage cells do not have a direct blood supply and rely on an exchange of fluid to get nutrients and oxygen to stay healthy and heal. Joint movement is critical for this to occur. When mobility is reduced by injury, disease or prolonged bed rest, cartilage begins to deteriorate and the arthritic process accelerates.
Viscus is specifically designed to provide gentle, low-load movement therapy with minimal exertion. This makes it easier for people who are injured or too frail to move their joints, which increases motivation to undertake prescribed exercise. It’s also important that the joints move for extended periods, making it vital that the exercise be very comfortable. Viscus requires so little exertion that users are able to pedal it hours at a time – and are happy to.
Improved Blood Flow
Veins that carry blood back to the heart rely on body movement to work optimally. People on prolonged bed rest or who sit unmoving for protracted periods experience reduced blood return, risking leg swelling (edema) and higher incidence of blood clots. Frequent sustained movement can be a challenge for people who are convalescing, so Viscus is designed to be used easily – even in bed. Gentle but extended pedalling has been clinically demonstrated to be superior to leg exercises, pressure stockings or elevation to promote blood return when lying or sitting.