What is PoNS?
PoNS stands for Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator device. This device uses electrical stimulation to the tongue in order to create new pathways to the brain and allow for neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to create new connections with the body and learn to move again through repetitions). Your tongue has nerves which connect to your brainstem and allow for a unique opportunity to create change between the body and the brain.
PoNS is both the device as well as a high-intensity specialized treatment program which requires in-clinic and at-home sessions of various movement and balance exercises from a physiotherapist in order to promote recovery. It is designed to help with balance and gait (walking) for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and brain injury. Each person’s PoNS treatment exercises are individualized based on abilities, and progressed as improvement occurs. Neuphysio is excited to offer such new and innovative technology to our patients so we can help people learn to walk and balance again!
Step Forward with PoNS™
Problems with balance and gait can stop you from moving through life with confidence. You may have trouble walking, feel unsteady or be unable to do the activities that bring enjoyment to your life.
About PoNS Treatment™
PoNS™ (short for Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator) is an innovative, non-surgical medical device that gently stimulates the surface of the tongue, exciting the neural network flowing to the brain. This neural activity is believed to enable neuroplasticity, which may restore lost function. In conjunction with targeted therapeutic activities, the PoNS™ has the potential to restore:
● Balance in individuals with chronic balance deficit due to a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury or concussion.
● Gait in individuals with gait deficit due to mild to moderate symptoms of multiple sclerosis
PoNS Treatment™ Overview
PoNS Treatment™ is a comprehensive 14-week program that combines in-clinic and in-home use of the PoNS™ device guided by a Certified PoNS™ Trainer.
Following your initial consultations, you will participate in a series of assessments to set a baseline, so you and your Certified PoNS™ Trainer can measure your progress throughout PoNS Treatment™. Assessments may evaluate functions related to balance, gait, walking speed, dexterity, strength and mobility, as well as cognitive measures, sleep quality and headache incidence.
Weeks One and Two: In-Clinic Appointments
For the first two weeks of treatment, you will work with your Certified PoNS™ Trainer one-on-one. Your Trainer will design a PoNS Treatment™ program tailored to your individual needs. Therapeutic activities with PoNS™ may include:
● Balance training
● Gait training
● Breathing and awareness
● Other neuro-rehabilitative exercises
Weeks Three to Fourteen: In-Home Training Sessions
During weeks three to fourteen, you will continue with your customized program at home and schedule weekly clinic visits. Your Certified PoNS™ Trainer will monitor your progress and make further adjustments to your program as needed.
● Additional progress assessments are completed after weeks four and eight.
● Upon completion of the fourteen-week PoNS Treatment™, you will undergo a final, comprehensive assessment and review your overall progress with your Certified PoNS™ Trainer.
The PoNS Treatment™ Approach
PoNS Treatment™ uses neuromodulation, the modification of nerve activity through delivery of a targeted stimulus. This may promote neuroplasticity – or the ability of the brain to make adaptive changes related to the structure and function of the nervous system. PoNS Treatment™ provides an innovative and effective therapy combining mild stimulation of the tongue with targeted therapeutic activities, which may create a neuroplastic effect that helps to improve balance and gait.
More About Neuroplasticity:
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s incredible ability to change. Over a lifetime, one’s brain constantly reorganizes itself to form new neural connections in response to changing needs. PoNS Treatment™ leverages this important healing process.
Injury or disease can damage or disrupt the connections in the brain. By supporting the brain’s ability to rebuild connections, it may be possible for the brain to compensate for the damage caused by injury or disease. While this process typically happens over a long period of time, it may be accelerated by neuromodulation techniques that utilize non-surgical devices, such as PoNS™.
How do I get started with PoNS Treatment™?
Contact us and set up a free 15min consultation.
Visit our clinic to complete your one-hour consultation.
Thousands of Canadians live with persistent symptoms resulting from a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis diagnosis. These individuals may notice a significant negative impact on their functional status, capacity to return to work and quality of life.
PoNS Treatment™ is only offered at Authorized PoNS Treatment™ Clinics. These clinics are selected based on their experience treating neurologic symptoms such as balance and gait deficits. A Certified PoNS™ Trainer works with each patient according to their own specific needs and deficits during PoNS Treatment™.
The PoNS Treatment™ is a comprehensive 14-week treatment program. During PoNS Treatment™, a Certified PoNS™ Trainer works with each patient using targeted therapeutic activities focusing on balance and gait.
PoNS Treatment™ is not currently covered by government insurance programs. PoNS Treatment™ may be covered by personal insurance depending on individual plans. Contact a clinic to ask about PoNS™ and the pricing and payment options available.
The PoNS™ device is intended for use as a short-term treatment (14 weeks) of:
- Chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (mmTBI) and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy.
- Gait deficit due to mild and moderate symptoms from MS and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy.
It is indicated for individuals between 18 and 65 years of age. Set up a free consultation with us now to determine if PoNS™ is right for you.
The PoNS™ device delivers electrical stimulation directly to the surface of the tongue. Precautions for use are similar to those for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Electrical stimulation SHOULD NOT be used: if there is an active or suspected malignant tumor, in areas of recent bleeding or open wounds, or in areas that lack normal sensation. PoNS™ has not been tested on, and thus should not be used, by individuals under the age of 18 or who are pregnant. PoNS™ should not be used in patients sensitive to nickel, gold, or copper.
Electrical stimulation should only be used after seeking professional medical advice, and with caution in patients with any of the following:
- Implanted electronic devices, including cardiac pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, deep brain stimulators, vagal nerve stimulators, sacral nerve stimulators, and cochlear implants
- Metal in the mouth (e.g. piercings, braces, retainers, or other orthodontic appliance)
- Seizure disorders
Key features of the PoNS Treatment™ include:
One-on-One Support: This 14-week Treatment consists of one-on-one training with a Certified PoNS™ Trainer who helps you progress.
Scientific Evidence: PoNS Treatment™ is driven by published science and research with data demonstrating positive outcomes.
Quantified Assessments: Assessments document and quantify patient progress through the 14-week PoNS Treatment™ using objective measures, such as 6-Minute Walk Test and Dynamic Gait Index.
Exclusive Technology: PoNS Treatment™ is the first of its kind and is available only in Canada
Accessible Treatment: We are currently offering PoNS Treatment™. Contact us now to find out if PoNS™ Treatment is right for you.