Steamroller Squeezes Fun Into Children’s Therapy

Published on: 2020/03/03


Children at Comprehensive Rehab are having fun squeezing themselves through the steamroller, a piece of equipment that offers a unique way to receive the type of deep pressure many kids need.

The steamroller, sometimes known as the “Squeeze Machine,” has four foam rollers - two on top and two on the bottom.

The machine looks similar to an old-fashioned clothes wringer or a pasta machine. Children can either crawl between the top and bottom rollers or roll over the top of the device. 

When they use it, a child first kneels down in front of the device and then push themselves through the rollers, entering with the hands first, followed by arms, head, neck shoulders and feet.

Device Helps Children With Their Motor Planning Skills

As they use the steamroller, children are able to work on their motor planning skills, body awareness, core strengthening, self-regulation, and shoulder stability.

Squeezing through the steamroller provides pressure on a child’s body, which is often what children with neurological processing disorders such as autism crave.

Tension springs are located on the side of the steamroller. The springs can be adjusted by therapists at Comprehensive Rehab, changing the amount of pressure exerted on children using the device.

Deep Pressure Targets Central Nervous System

The deep pressure therapy provided as children squeeze through the machine helps the central nervous system and stimulates the proprioceptive system.

The proprioceptive system was developed by the nervous system as a way to track and control different parts of the body. The system can vary muscle contractions.

As they progress through the rollers, a child can stop at the halfway point and use the tension in the rollers to prove sustained deep pressure therapy.

A therapist may also have the child roll back and forth over the steamroller’s rollers before moving completely through.

Learn More About Children's Therapy Services Offered at Comprehensive Rehab

To learn more about the steamroller or any other therapy service offered at Comprehensive Rehab, contact us today.

Comprehensive Rehab has Iowa locations in Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, and Maquoketa.