Sling table therapy is a technique used by physical therapists to inhibit, or facilitate movement by suspending part of the patient’s body, or the entire patient’s body, in a sling. In order to use sling table therapy, the physical therapist must have extensive knowledge and training on the device and the positions necessary to facilitate the desired therapeutic effects.
When the patient is suspended, his or her body weight is reduced and he or she is able to move more freely and with less pain. The sling can also allow movement in patients that might not otherwise have been able to move due to trauma or other muscular conditions. Once suspended, the therapist will have the patient perform specific exercises, using the sling as a tool for the guided movement.
Beyond strength training, a sling can be used to stretch and realign the body. The lengthening can be performed on the spine, joints, and muscles. The sling can also be used for manual traction. When attached to a particular part of the body, then set up with a system of pulleys and weights, the device can provide gentle and manual stretching to the affected portion of the body.