What does a therapist or rehabilitation professional picture in their mind when they hear “Easy Lift Harness”?
- Gait training harness.
- Gait training walker.
- Body weight support.
- Patient lifts.
Does an occupational therapist picture an “Easy Lift harness” when Bobby, a self-employed professional arborist (tree trimmer), comes in with a shoulder injury limiting range of motion and strength? This is not a gait training harness for rotator cuff tears, labral tears and impingements.
This Easy Lift Harness is not related to gait training in any way. This Easy Lift Harness is designed to hold the full weight of a hand-held tool and transfer the load to the workers hips, relieving much of the stress and strain on his shoulders. Put it on like a backpack, clip it onto your heavy tool, and go to work.
There is ample information about medical treatments of shoulder injuries like Bobby’s, and Dr. Howard Luks, professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Medical College, does a great job of discussing that in his frequently asked questions blog. Entire clinics focus on treatment and management of the pain. The challenge is that the medical treatments don’t solve all the range of motion and strength impairments. Improvement in function, yes. However, there is not always 100% recovery at the end of the work hardening program. For maximum healing and comfort, the long-term pain treatments and therapy may require the worker to not use the shoulder in a strenuous way.
But Bobby WANTS TO WORK! Most likely, he’s going to work and keep trimming trees even though it hurts.
- He has bills to pay.
- He’s an outdoorsman, not interested in sitting behind a computer in the office.
- He’s a trained professional in a unique field of work.
- He has an established business and a great reputation.
- He would much rather suffer the pain than sit on the couch.
Can we help him BOTH work AND reduce his pain? At Disability Work Tools, we’re convinced that we can help workers keep doing their jobs with tools such as the Easy Lift Harness. If a worker has a job-limiting impairment, and this tool can reduce the stress on his shoulder, allowing him to return to work, what better definition of assistive technology or vocational rehabilitation could we describe?
The Easy Lift Harness corporate weblog doesn’t use the term “assistive technology” even once. There is no mention of adaptive tools or vocational rehabilitation on their entire website. The inventor simply had a great idea to help an arborist, landscaper, fruit grower or grounds keeper to do their job more efficiently.
At Disability Work Tools we call this assistive technology.
We call the Easy Lift Harness an adaptive tool.
We call this the essence of vocational rehabilitation.