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What is the SpiderCage?  

Nov 03rd, 2021 | by Karleigh Page, PT, DPT

Karleigh Page, PT, DPT

November 03rd, 2021

The SpiderCage is a therapeutic tool that we utilize in pediatrics during both physical and occupational therapy sessions as well as intensive therapy when deemed appropriate. The Spider Cage provides external, body weight support via a dynamic bungee system which can be tailored by the therapist to benefit each individual child, depending on their specific needs.  

How Does it Work? 

If a patient is deemed appropriate for SpiderCage use, their therapist will begin by choosing a harness that fits appropriately. There is also a second, chest harness that can be used for individuals who need extra support throughout the trunk. Once the harness is chosen, the therapist will strap the harness around the individual’s waist (and potentially around their chest) securely and comfortably. From there, the bungies are attached from the cage to the pelvic harness at specific heights to provide partial body weight support. Once the individual is all hooked up and ready to go, the therapy begins!  

Who Will Benefit from the Use of the Spider Cage? 

This therapy tool is typically utilized with individuals who have difficulty holding themselves upright in various positions against gravity without external support. This may be due to increased muscle tone or decreased muscle tone, weakness, impaired balance, impaired spatial awareness or a variety of other causes. The SpiderCage allows individuals to initiate and experience movements and gross motor skills that otherwise may not be available to them.  

What Type of Therapeutic Activities are Performed in the SpiderCage? 

The spider cage allows the therapist to assist an individual with exercises and activities in various positions that optimize motor learning and neuroplasticity. These positions include quadruped (hands and knees), variations of kneeling, sitting, and standing. The SpiderCage can also be used for gait training via body weight supported treadmill training. On top of that, this tool offers the benefits of improving strength, coordination, range of motion and endurance all of which will help individuals achieve their therapeutic goals and optimize daily function!  

Learn More About Other Tools & Techniques Used at NAPA:

Additional Resources:

About the Author

NAPA Denver therapist Karleigh enjoys play based pediatric therapy as it gives her the opportunity to be creative with her treatment techniques and create a positive, exciting experience for the children that she works with. Karleigh loves helping individuals recreate alongside their peers and has enjoyed volunteering for adaptive golf, swimming, and wheelchair/bike racing programs. In her time outside of the clinic, Karleigh can be found hiking, biking, running or exploring national parks (as she hopes to one day visit all 62)! 

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