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Task Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES) Course!

Meet Your Instructor

Judy Carmick, MA, PT

Currently, in private physical therapy practice in Alamo, CA Judy specializes in the treatment of children with Cerebral Palsy and other movement disorders with a focus on helping children achieve motor learning, motor control, muscle strength and range of motion using electrical stimulation.  She lectures worldwide on Task Specific Electrical Stimulation (TASES), a task specific method she developed using electrical stimulation informed by movement science and motor learning ideas.

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Course Description

The TASES workshop will focus on the use of task-specific neuromuscular stimulation (NMES) to help the child with motor dysfunction improve in functional motor tasks, learning and control as well as muscle strength and range of motion.  Current ideas will be discussed from the literature on cerebral palsy, spasticity, gait and movement science to help understand the rationale for NMES treatment decisions. The course will be on how to decide which muscles to stimulate when, where and why.

Part one includes the active task-specific approach using NMES for the trunk, lower leg, hip, elbow and forearm muscles, while part two (day 3) will focus on a continuation of Level I with more time to understand how NMES can be used on the knee and hip and with gait. More advanced understanding of NMES is also given for the trunk, shoulder and hand muscles. Videos and slides of case studies are included showing how NMES is used and has helped.

April 6 – Day One:

The first day focuses on why and how to use electrical stimulation (ES) to benefit the children’s function, range of motion, alignment and motor learning. Videos and slides of cases will be presented to show the immediate, short term and long-term benefits of task specific electrical stimulation (TASES). Improving sitting, gasp, reaching and gait will be emphasized along with how ankle foot orthoses may affect gait.

Current ideas will be discussed from the literature on cerebral palsy (CP): spasticity, management, and movement science to help understand the rationale for ES treatment decisions. How to decide which muscles to stimulate at what moment and for what task is the most challenging and the most important part of the workshop. The active task specific approach will include using ES for the trunk and upper and lower extremities during static and dynamic activities. With ES equipment available to gain hands-on experience, therapists will work with partners and use ES on their upper extremity and trunk.

April 7- Day Two:

Lectures and lab will focus on using ES for the trunk and lower extremities and will include gait along with the hand-held remote switch. A child with lower extremity needs will be treated by the instructor after the class views footage showing the child’s abilities and needs. If there is no third day, time will be given at the end for more questions and wrap up.

May 19 – Day Three:

During day three, attendees will have time to utilize their new skills in real-time practice. First, a five-minute video of a child will be seen, and the class will discuss the child’s skills and needs. Next, the instructor will treat several children with help from the class followed by a class discussion.

A practicum will occur in the afternoon with four or five children. After viewing footage of the patient, participants break into 4 or 5 groups and create a treatment plan. The child will be introduced to the group who will carry out further evaluation as needed and then the therapy.

After the children leave, the class will regroup one last time for any final discussion or questions.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the mechanics of portable ES equipment
  2. Discuss the benefits of using task specific ES
  3. Know how and why to choose and set the parameters
  4. Cite the indications, precautions, and contraindications of ES
  5. Plan treatment with TASES: when and which muscles to stimulate
  6. Be familiar with the current literature on NMES/FES/ES and understand how it relates to pediatric patients, especially those with cerebral palsy
  7. Understand the different theories of ES/ NMES/FES
  8. Discuss the basics of task-specific movement science
  9. Having seen many videos and slides of ES treatment, understand how to evaluate children for the use of ES.