Suspension Therapy

suspension therapy frame


Suspension therapy is a special technique of therapeutic exercise in which a part or all of the body is suspended in the air by ropes and slings attached to a fixed point above. That is given to patients to increase ROM, increase muscle power, and support body parts by using ropes and slings.

Suspension frees the body from the friction of material upon which the body components may be resting and it permits free movement without resistance. Late Mrs. Guthrie Smith has invented the suspension apparatus.

Principles of Suspension Therapy

It is working under the principle  of-

  • Friction
  • Pendulum
  • Eliminating gravity movement

A) Friction-

It occurs during a particular surface move on another. in suspension friction is less, therefore causes smooth and easy movement.

B) Pendulum-

  • Pendulum is heavy material suspended by the weightless thread. when force is applied to the pendulum it results in to and fro movement.
  • In the human body, pendular motion occurs mainly in the shoulder and hip joints, forward leg movements arm swings while walking.

Uses– to maintain the muscle property, increase the range of movement, and strengthening muscles.

C) Eliminating gravity movement-

The patient should at least have muscle power 2 for suspension therapy exercise.

Parts of Suspension Therapy

1)Fixed point- suspension frame

2) Supporting ropes

  • Single rope
  • Double rope
  • Pulley rope

3)  Sling

  • Single sling
  • Double sling
  • Three-ring sling
  • Head sling

4) Wooden cleat

5) Dog clip, S hook

1) Suspension frame-

  • It is made of stainless steel or plastic-coated steel.
  • In the top and head-end side presents the 5-centimeter metal mesh, and the remaining sides are kept open.

2) Supporting rope-

Three varieties of supporting ropes are used for the suspension to avoid slipping.

  • Single rope
  • Double rope
  • Pulley rope

a) Single rope

  • It has a ring fixed at one end by which it is hung up.
  • The other end of the rope then passes through one end of the wooden cleat through the ring of a dog clip and the other end of the cleat and then knotted.

b) Pulley rope

  • This has a dog clip  attached  at one end of the rope which then passes over the wheel of a pulley
  • The rope then passes through the cleat and second dog clip.

c) Double rope

  • Consists of two pulleys at upper and lower attachments.
  • So here there is a mechanical advantage of 2.

3) Slings

four varieties of slings are available-

  • Single sling
  • Double sling
  • Three-ring sling
  • Head sling

a) Single sling

  • Made of canvas bound with soft webbing and with a D ring at each end.
  • Size- 68cm length and 17cm width.
  • Used for elbow and knee
  • Some time folded in the figure of 8 manner to support the wrist and ankle.

b) Double sling

  • Bigger than single sling
  • It will have more than two sides with the D- rings.
  • Used to support bigger parts like thorax, trunk, and thigh.
  • Size- 68cm long and 29cm width.

c) Three -ring sling

  • 75cm length, 3-4cm width, consist of 3 D rings.
  • Two D rings at both the end of the sling and one in the middle kept moving.
  • Used for wrist and ankle region.

d) Head sling

  • This is a short, split sling with its two halves stitched together at an angle to create a central slit.
  • It is used for head support in the middle of the sling present a slit for the accommodation of occipital region while in supine or lower ear accommodation while in side-lying.

4) Wooden cleat

  • Its made of wood and is used for altering the rope.
  • It has two or three holes for the rope passage.
  • The rope itself holds the cleat by friction resistance.

5) Dog clip/ S hook

  • Used to attach the supporting rope with mesh
  • To attach the sling with supporting rope.

Types of Suspension Therapy

  1. Axial suspension
  2. Vertical suspension
  3. Pendular suspension

1)Axial suspension

  • Joint axis is taken as the point of the suspension
  • The limb is supported by the slings above the axis of the joint.
  • If the movement is initiated the limb is moved both sides.
  • The part moves parallel to the floor.


  1. Relaxation
  2. Maintain muscular property
  3. To Increase the blood circulation
  4. Increase the venous drainage
  5. Increase the lymphatic drainage

2) Vertical suspension

  • COG of the body part or the body is taken as a point of suspension.
  • Used to provide support to the body part of the patients.


  1. To support the body part
  2. To reduce the pressure sore.

3) Pendular suspension

  • The point of suspension should be shifted away from the joint axis.
  • Movement usually takes place against gravity.
  • Muscle will be getting resistance while moving if the axis is shifted opposite to that movement.


  1. To strengthen the muscle.
  2. To increase the muscle power
  3. Increase the endurance.

Advantages of Suspension Therapy

  • It reduces the burden for the therapist.
  • Easy to lift the limb.
  • Active movement can be performed easily with minimum friction.

You May Also Visit-

  • Contrast Bath in Physical Therapy
    The contrast bath can help improve circulation around your injured tissue. Contrast bath therapy is a Thermotherapy in which all or part of the body is immersed first […]
  • Therapeutic Heat (Thermotherapy)
    Thermotherapy [Heat Therapy or Therapeutic Heat ] is the application of heat to the body for pain relief and health. It creates higher superficial tissue temperatures, which aids the […]
  • World No-Tobacco Day 2020
    Each year, 31st May comes up with several awareness campaigns of No-Tobacco and health hazards of tobacco as we celebrate 31st May as World No Tobacco Day. We […]
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound
    Ultrasound is a mechanical pressure wave or mechanical vibration resonating at a high frequency beyond the upper limit of human hearing. Physiotherapist has been used it Since the 1940s. […]
  • Paraffin wax bath
    Paraffin wax has been used for many years, it is an effective medium for heat transfer to the skin and joint. It is a form of deep heat therapy. A […]
  • Interferential Therapy(IFT)
    Interferential therapy (IFT) is widely used in physiotherapy. It is developed by Dr. Hans Nemec of Vienna, Austria in the early 1950s.  It is very helpful in relieving pain due to […]
  • Russian Current-Physiological and Therapeutic effects
    Russian scientist, Dr. Yakov Kots developed Russian current in 1977s, for increasing muscle force that increases the maximum voluntary contraction. It is a medium frequency current. It is an intermittent […]
  • Infrared Radiation (IRR) in Physiotherapy
    Infrared irradiation (IRR) is electromagnetic energy invisible to the human eye, having a wavelength between 760nm to 1mm. In the electromagnetic spectrum, the infrared own the place between visible […]

1 thought on “Suspension Therapy

Please provide your valuable feedback

%d bloggers like this: