The Adeli Suit® (since 1991) is a cerebral palsy therapy pressurized device specially designed to correct the patient’s posture and movements. Its purpose is to adjust the course of the muscles as close as possible to how they would have moved if they had functioned naturally. By doing so, it also affects the brain’s damaged centers responsible for motor and speech control.
The suit is essentially a set of supporting units in the form of shoulder pads (or a vest), a wide waist belt (or shorts), knee pads and shoes.
The supporting units of the suit are connected with each other through a system of adjustable elastic ties. The ties are positioned like the antagonist muscles (flexors and extensors) and the muscles responsible for rotating and other movements. It is possible to add another set of ties to correct the alignment of the feet, the shoulder girdle and so on. Each of the ties is adjustable, so that the body and the legs can be loaded axially within 15 to 40 kg. The adjustable ties also make it possible to vary the patient’s posture and the position of his or her limbs. More specifically, it is possible to preset the initial angles in the major joints and bend and unbend the trunk.
So, the suit acts as an elastic outer framework. It holds the physiologically correct posture and adjusts the course of movements. What is important is that it does not limit the voluntary movements of the patient, but it does require more effort to create desired movement. The instructor controls the level of load, depending on form of disorder, nature and degree of damage of the movement apparatus, the patient’’ age and general condition and other objective and subjective factors.
Each suit is individually adapted to fit the patient’s height.
In addition, some special extra appliances may be attached to meet a patient’s individual biomechanical requirements. In some forms of cerebral palsy, a cap connected to the shoulder supporters with adjustable elastic ties may be used to steady the patient’s head in its natural position. In others, special reclining devices are used to correct the patient’s bearing. It is also possible to add more load on the upper extremities by connecting elbow or wrist pads to the main supporting system.