Wearing the OTvest™ can Provide Trunk Stability for those with Cerebellar Ataxia.
Experience the increased stability and control that wearing an OTvest™ provides. The OTvest™ is a simple, non-invasive intervention to help naturally treat cerebellar ataxia that can do so much!
Cerebellar ataxia, as well as other movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy, can be treated with the OTvest™ denim weighted vest. Unlike other weighted vests, weighted blankets, or compression vests on the market, the OTvest™ is discreet, allowing for gentle, holistic intervention whenever the wearer decides.
The OTvest™ provides deep pressure therapy throughout the shoulder blades (scapula) and across the shoulder-girdle area of the body (upper chest and upper back). Unlike other weighted vests, weighted blankets, or compression vests on the market, the strategic weight positioning within the OTvest™ increases trunk stability, improving balance and upper extremity function and coordination. When the trunk is stabilized, stabilization in the arms, hands, neck, and head are also improved.
The weight placement in the OTvest is based upon the Neurodevelopment Treatment created by the world famous British neurologist Karel Bobath and physiotherapist Berta Bobath--who stressed the importance of stabilization of the shoulder-girdle area for movement disorders. This treatment model is used world-wide by occupational and physical therapists still today.
When the upper body is stable, drinking from a cup, combing one’s hair, and keyboarding, are far easier tasks. For people who experience tremors, as is common in those with cerebellar ataxia, the OTvest™ is able to decrease tremors, helping to naturally provide an ataxia treatment.
Research has shown that weight applied in the shoulder area of persons with cerebellar ataxia, including those with multiple sclerosis, improved their lateral (side-to-side) sway when six pounds of weight was applied (Lucy and Hayes, 1985). Another study demonstrated improvement in lateral sway using even less weight (Widener, Allen, Gibson-Horn, 2009). This research was utilized in the creation of the OTvest™. Due to the dense, steel plates within the weighted vest, less weight is actually required to soothe and treat tremors in the body compared to other weighted or compression vests. Wearing the OTvest™ can be used as a multiple sclerosis treatment because of the improved lateral sway.
Those who have used the OTvest™ as a treatment for Parkinson’s, a treatment for dystonia, a treatment for ataxia, and so much more, have written letters explaining how much the OTvest™ has benefitted their lives. Here are just a few:
"The vest has been amazing. It has actually made my arms usable again… to play the keyboard. [I] learned that if I wear the vest, I have more use of my more affected left hand, and can isolate the keys better... The dystonic movements are almost gone with the [OTvest™] on." Jennifer Zubko, dystonic adult in Canada (ataxic)
"The OTvest™ makes my feet feel more like they are touching the ground. I feel grounded, more secure when walking." Lili Kazepis, Brooklyn, New York cerebellar ataxia
"I got the OTvest™ (sic)… and I was able to sleep through the whole night. Usually, I have to take medication but I haven’t had to touch it since I got the vest. The OTvest™ helps me to stabilize my trunk… with the vest, I am able to walk without swaying back and forth and having to hold on and grab things. It helps give me a feeling of security..it helps me get things done." Robin Stevenson, Gainsville, Florida, cerebellar ataxia (quoted from video, linked below)
"In physical therapy, we have been working on stability and core control (with Robin). We have noticed a remarkable difference when walking with the OTvest™ and walking without it. When she first came to physical therapy, she wouldn’t walk in a crowd because she thought she would fall and now she is able to walk through the gym with other patients coming in when she wears the OTvest™. She is far more stable and confident." Eileen Branham, physical therapist, Gainsville, FL (quoted from video, linked below)
"Just received my OTvest™ less than an hour ago. I love it and can already tell I am using my arms better. I am even being more accurate with the keyboard as I sit to type this. My PT and therapeutic riding instructor have been working very hard on my shoulders and arms this week, as they were extremely tight. I put on the vest and they went immediately limp. It is as if I don't have any tone at all in that area, which of course, has calmed my whole system down. The vest feels very much like my therapist's hands constantly on my shoulders. First impressions are that I love it! I don't want to take it off!" Thank you for everything. Jennifer Zubko, Canada
"The vest seems to keep me straight not going to one side like I do. It makes me walk more straight without leaning towards one side. I am 50, had Ataxia SCA1 since 38, 130 pounds, wear 10 or 12. The vest has the 3 pounds... It works good with keeping me more balanced and grounded. My muscles are very weak and sore from the ataxia. I also can't button things. The snaps work great." Cathy Letson, Sca 1 ataxia, Claxton, GA 6/16
"Dear OTvest,I have been using the vest for about a month now.Although I bought it to help my walking, instead, I use it to reduce my dizziiness. When I put it on when I am dizzy, it disappears almost immediately. It really is so effective. Then I lie down on my lazy chair for around 10 minutes and I am ok. My OTvest is with me now 24 hours a day.Thank you OTvest."Peter Lee, Penang, Malaysia
Research has shown that weight applied in the shoulder area of persons with cerebellar ataxia, including those with multiple sclerosis, improved their lateral (side-to-side) sway when six pounds of weight was applied (Lucy and Hayes, 1985). Another study demonstrated improvement in lateral sway using even less weight (Widener, Allen, Gibson-Horn, 2009). This research was utilized in the creation of the OTvest. Due to the dense, steel plates within the weighted vest, less weight can be effectively utilized to diminish tremors and decrease dizziness.
These results can be seen in Robin, an OTvest™ wearer with cerebellar ataxia, when she began wearing the weighted vest in the hopes that it would reduce her lateral sway. The OTvest™ provided such an effective treatment for cerebellar ataxia in her case that Robin no longer needs to hold onto a wall or depend on support from her physical therapist when she wears the OTvest™. Robin’s before and after experience wearing the weighted vest is recorded and demonstrated below.
In this video, Robin is wearing an OTvest size medium with 4lbs of weight.
Look for the yellow "OTvest™" label on the chest pocket to make sure you are getting the genuine OTvest™. Others may look like the OTvest™ from the outside, but the weight placement is important. Only the OTvest™ has the patented weighted insert with weight lying directly upon the body. This makes the difference!
Note: The OTvest™ is not recommended for those with spinal cord problems and the accompanying balance problems associated with those disorders, such as herniated or dislocated discs, degenerative disc disease, or other spinal cord injuries. The balance problems that benefit from the OTvest™ weighted vest are those with upper motor neuron and/or cerebellar problems described in the first paragraph.
Lucy SD, Hayes KC. Postural sway profiles: normal subjects and subjects with cerebellar ataxia. Physiother Can 1985;37: 140-8.
Chase RA, Cullen JK, Sullivan SA. Modification of intention tremor in man, Nature 1965;4983:485-7.
Clopton N, Schultz D, Boren C, Porter J, Brillhart T. Effects of axial loading on gait for subjects with cerebellar ataxia: preliminary findings. Neurol Report 2003;27:15-21.
Hewer RL, Cooper R, Morgan MH. An investigation into the value of treating intention tremor by weighting the affected limb.,Brain 1972;95:570-90.
Morgan MH, Hewer RL, Cooper R. Application of an objective method of assessing intention tremor–a further study on the use of weights to reduce intention tremor. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1975;38:259-64.
Morgan MH. Ataxia and weights, Physiotherapy 1975;61: 332-4.
Widener GL, Allen DD, Gibson-Horn C. Balance-based torso-weighting may enhance balance in persons with multiple sclerosis: preliminary evidence. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2009;90:602-9.