by Liz White, editor
Polyurethane is now being used as an aid to rehabilitation, in the form of Terrasensa ‘balance’ mats — a new idea from German design company Teo Industriedesign.
These modular mats — an aid for all sorts of physical, medical and sports therapy — are made in squares which push together, designed in endless combinations such that no regular repeats of the surface topography are likely in use, explained its developer Jens Freitag, head of Kassel, Germany-based Teo Industriedesign.
The idea is to present a constantly changing surface to anyone walking, running, jumping or crawling on it, so that the person has to focus totally on their balance.
In aiding balance and stability, Terrasensa “gives users a better sense of their own bodies,” Freitag said.
Terrasensa’s design challenges people to stand and move in a stable fashion. Users have to constantly re-balance and stabilise themselves.
A stroke patient who had struggled to walk upright recovered the ability to do so after just half an hour’s use, Freitag said.
It is valuable in rehabilitation of knee injuries, and Terrasensa can also be used to train older people to balance better and thus avoid some of the injuries and bone fractures that become increasingly common with age.
Ballet training and helping athletes kick well are other uses, he added.
Terrasensa is also finding use in training for high performance sports such as handball, where players are able…