Putting together a buying guide for Rehabilitation Tables is not easy. Though these tables are an integral part of any rehabilitation program, and play more than a supportive role during patient examination & treatment, they are difficult to clearly categorize. With constant evolution in patient care standards and treatment methodologies, the performance standards for such tables continue to be redefined. Further, rehabilitation system tables present an interesting mix. Often, they borrow the best features from different types of healthcare equipment, combining functional elements of standard hospital tables, patient mobility aids, and even healthcare furniture designs, like medical couches. When scanning for healthcare buying guides that catered directly to comparing rehab care tables, we found very little guidance. While there is abundant information about buying physical therapy equipment or evaluating different types of treatment tables, references for choosing the best rehab tables are scarce and not very elaborate. This Buying Guide tries to bridge this gap by putting the spotlight on each buying parameter you should consider when choosing rehabilitation program tables…
Evaluating Rehabilitation Care Tables is not easy! They combine features of different types of treatment tables – tables for medical exam, massage, physical therapy, sports medicine, or massage!
Doing the Homework – Map the Rehab Care ‘Landscape’
Some basic questions should be answered when evaluating differently modeled physio care tables used in different types of rehabilitation-care scenarios
Common parameters for buying medical massage tables might not suffice for specialty rehab centers
At their core, the principle guiding all rehab tables is the same – they should have a clear advantage over traditional clinical tables, and benefit the patient & attending medical professional.
Soft patient restraints is not about necessities but a more humane touch to rehab therapy [Image: Padded Protective Straps by FISIOTECH]
But before we get deep into the buying parameters, some queries need an answer upfront:
– Ownership mindset: Temporary usage or a long-term investment?
– Targeted age range: For children, adults or people of any age?
– Space constraints: Wall-mounted or freestanding?
– Easy of maneuvering: With/without wheels – does it have multi-directional orientation?
– Weight capacity: Average weight-bearing capacity or for heavy-duty use?
– Ease of portability: Same table for clinical and home-care environments?
– Aesthetic features: Does it complement a clinical facility’s décor or branding theme?
– Wheelchair friendly: Allows easy transfer of severely and temporarily handicapped?
Cot Sides are increasingly becoming a standard across rehabilitation tables | FISIOTECH COT SIDES
Basic Expectations – Helps Maintain Hygiene
Hygiene standards for therapy tables are directly related to the upholstery/material that can wick-away moisture/sweat while the frame can have storage space to stock wipes & sprays
All rehab tables should help the clinical setup maintain maximum comfort levels for the patient and should be easy to clean for ensuring better hygiene. Though this might sound like a basic expectation from any type of healthcare facility table, all designs don’t necessarily perform up to the expectations. It is better to identify tables with materials that are naturally resistant to mold or fungal growth. Some tables in this domain carry smart slots for carrying disinfectant sprays – a visual incentive to wipe after every use. When comparing rehabilitation tables, take a closer look at table designs that have too many grooves or crevices that often the dirt to collect and turn into grime – this can breed infections. The more sensible approach lies in choosing tables that are easy to clean with a simple, moist wipe rather than needing intense vacuuming.
Simple, smart additions ensure ease of maintaining hygiene across Rehabilitation Examination/Therapy/Massage [Image of FISIOTECH Paper Roll Holder]
Addresses Multiple Treatment Specialties
If a clinical setup needs treatment tables that cater to better positioning of spine, gravity treatments, muscle stretching, joint manipulation, wheelchair transfers, or postural drainage – the treatment scope should be defined at the outset.
When versatility of rehabilitation care tables is discussed, the ability to handle a vast range of physical conditions and different physician preferences is discussed. However, there is another challenge found in clinics and rehab centers that don’t have the leverage of maintaining individual, specialist treatment tables across each specialty.
Here, the same treatment table is used for all types of medical care practices. This means a table designed for rehab care is used for multiple therapeutic applications. Often, rehabilitation care tables are also used for massage therapy, occupational therapy, balance therapy, or just different-limb examinations. If you plan to use the same medical table for different types of professional treatments and therapies, ensure that you spend time in assessing the design and range of possible adjustments on offer. Consider this – some physiotherapy tables are multi-sectioned and are highly suitable for different-specialty usage while others don’t provide the type of lower or upper body support needed for patients with highly impaired posture/gait/balance. When buying multi-specialty therapy tables, models with differently sectioned designs are usually preferred – take the time to compare a few!
FISIOTECH Emera: Adjustable Headrest Tilt Table | Post-Trauma Care & Rehab Therapy
Handles Special Rehab Care Needs
Tilt tables might seem like a necessity in healthcare settings that specialize in reconditioning for orthostatic hypotension, and repeatedly handle rehab therapy related with spinal cord injuries, strokes, or prolonged immobilization
With increasing emphasis on precision of therapeutic positioning, rehabilitation tables are no longer restricted to a standard layout. Not every physical care table can handle cases of spinal stenosis or knee bursitis. Sometimes, rehab therapists need gas-powered spring backrest or those with a pull-out leg rest – many treatment table buying guides often don’t address this issue. Still the emphasis remains on improving physician access and optimizing patient positioning. Consider the case of physio care that involves improving the range of motion and overall mobility for a pregnant woman. This is not the standard scenario at a typical rehab center!
A rehab facility might need FIXED Height Couch Table with Headrest + Leg Adjustment + Under-bed Clearance OR IT MIGHT NEED BASIC TABLES COMBINED WITH SPECIALTY STANDERS LIKE:
Jenx Monkey Prone Stander for Children (9 Months to 4 Years) with
Angle Adjustment, Raising Blocks, Activity Frame, Grab Bar
Such specialty rehabilitation cannot be handled by every physio care unit. It needs closer evaluation. The idea should be to identify rehab care tables that function beyond the typical range of patient movement and scope for readjusting body positions. Special rehab care tables used in sports treatment cater to more therapeutic movements. For people with highly impaired range of motion and the inability to balance themselves, tables with adjustable backrests might make more sense. Some treatment tables are rated for a weight range. Others medical care tables double-up as manual tables that allow multi-dimensional adjustments across the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or pelvic regions – such requirements should be clear when choosing rehab therapy tables!
FISIOTECH Nettuno Urano Patient Table – Medical Couch Table w/Adjustable Height
A rehab caregiver might need an easily adjustable headrest, hydraulic cylinder backrest, or more bar system vertical rise possibilities. But these are not the only features on offer. We are sharing some of the most enquired-about features found across globally popular rehabilitation care tables:
- Limited need for lateral shift
- Retractable wheel design
- One therapy table with multiple planes, up to 4
- Individual locking castors
- Zero knob designs
- Highly perceptive peripheral footswitch
- Seamless integration of superior tubular steel
- Optional center section with collapsible sides
- Minimal pressure foot pedal for therapists
- Optional horizontal sliding head
- Martindale rating to understand the durability
- Pneumatic pumps to make height adjustment effortless
- Rotating rollers to boost circulation across the back, neck and shoulders
- Chair-to-table design for effortless wheelchair to table transfers
- Pass-through drawers accessible from either sides of the table
Does your rehab supplies manufacturer offer critical accessories?
Like Castors for Examination Tables, Gurneys, and Couches by FISIOTECH
Aftercare is Serious Business | More After-sales Support is Good
Some rehabilitative care table manufacturers provide superior warranty that covers nearly every bit of the table, ensuring there is room to repair & refurbish the product, if any part gets damaged
Warranties are rather helpful since constant wear & tear is expected with any healthcare equipment that is constantly used—one buying parameter common to most buying guides for rehabilitation physio care tables. Yes, the quality of manufacturing has a major impact on the lifespan of any equipment but superior warranty offers are always not an excuse to cover for expected damages. Some of the best brands in the niche of medical devices provide long-term guarantee and/or warranty for the entire unit, for different sections & parts of the tables, or individually, for the frame and the upholstery. It is better to expect that there might be minor manufacturing defects and a good warranty coverage protects against the financial damages related with such issues.
Product Warranties are important: Portable tables used in home-care settings are exposed to exponentially more wear & tear & [Image: FISIOTECH 3 SECTION STEEL FRAME PORTABLE EXAMINATION TABLE]
Physiotherapy tables are often adjusted and have movable parts for ensuring the best accessibility level for the attending rehab doctor or for creating comfortable positions for the patient. These movable parts are subject to heavy-duty usage and some malfunctioning with extended use should be a part of the evaluation parameter. Investing in slightly expensive treatment tables that provide better, longer after-sales support and warranty/guarantee support is often the smarter decision.
Does this make a difference? Consider this – upholstery on the physiotherapy table can crack and the reasons can vary from neglectful handling to tearing due to inherent problems with the quality of the fabric. The therapist and the reputation of a healthcare facility should not suffer. Having access to quick help, via maximum manufacturer support, means use of fabrics rated for the maximum durability and the ability to take upon repairs without asking too many questions.
Read into the Product Nomenclature | It Simplifies the Selection
We are explaining this with an example – choosing Bobath tables rather than general, physio care massage tables.
When buying rehabilitation tables, the marketing/branding literature needs careful consideration. In our research, we found a typical case of some brands trying to push physical therapy massage tables as a suitable alternative to higher-priced Bobath tables. However, these tables are designed differently, serving different medical use applications. Ask any rehabilitative care practitioner, and the overall feedback will be about Bobath tables being a lot stronger and even wider than typical treatment tables or traditional massage tables. Bobath massage tables can have a lot more vertical dimensions too. With an emphasis on withstanding more pressure and weight range, the Bobath table series needs special attention. The patient care demands here are aligned with more amplitude or intensity of body movement that are critical to rehab therapy. This is why Rehabcart has dedicated an entire section to different types of Bobath table models.
Collaboration gets it done better!
Checking out the manufacturer credentials is as critical as ensuring that a treatment table performs at par with your scope of rehab care activities. Clinicians often do the groundwork and create a checklist before making such buying decisions. We prefer this approach as it helps to uncover lesser-spoken-about challenges and ensures that every aspect of a new equipment is thoroughly evaluated. This is also why the Rehabcart team works with buyers like you, helping institutions or home-based caregivers identify the most relevant medical devices for different types of care settings. Rehabcart ensures the emphasis remains on procuring inventory from the best international manufacturers but there is a chance that you might not find the exact match for your application. Simply share your requirements via an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, watch this space as we publish more medical device buying guides and share content about contemporary & conventional healthcare accessories…