Functional electrical stimulation (FES) for patients with stroke and foot drop is an alternative to ankle foot orthoses. Characteristics of FES responders and non-responders have not been clarified.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) for patients with stroke and foot drop is an alternative to ankle foot orthoses. Characteristics of FES responders and non-responders have not been clarified.
1. To investigate the effects of treatment with FES on patients with stroke and foot drop. 2. To determine which factors may relate to responders and non-responders.
Multicenter, non-randomized, prospective study.
Multicenter clinical trial.
Participants, who experienced foot drop resulting from stroke, greater than 20 years old, and could provide consent to participate, were enrolled from hospitals between January 2013 and September 2015 and performed rehabilitation with FES.
Stroke Impairment Assessment Set Foot-Pat Test (SIAS-FP), Fugl-Meyer Assessment for Lower Extremity (FMA-LE), modified Ashworth scale (MAS) for ankle joint dorsiflexion and plantar flexion muscles, range of motion (ROM) for ankle joint, 10-m walking test (10mWT), timed up & go test (TUG), and 6-minute walking test (6MWT) were evaluated pre- and post-intervention. Age, sex, type of stroke, onset times of stroke, paretic side, Brunnstrom stage of the lower extremity (Br. stage-LE), functional independent measure (FIM), functional ambulation category (FAC), post-stroke months, number of interventions, total hours of interventions, and whether a brace was used were extracted from patients’ medical records and collected on the physiological examination day.
We examined 10mWT and age, sex, type of stroke, onset times of stroke, paretic side, Br. stage-LE, FIM, FAC, post-stroke months, number of interventions, total hours of interventions, whether a brace was used, SIAS-FP, FMA-LE, MAS, ROM, TUG, and 6MWT before intervention. We divided participants into non-responders and responders with a change in 10mWT of <0.1 and ≧0.1 m/s, respectively. Single and multiple regression analyses were used for data analysis. Additionally, we compared the changes between groups.
Fifty-eight responders and 43 non-responders were enrolled. The between-group differences, compared for changes between pre- and post-intervention, were significant in terms of changes in SIAS-FP (P=.02), 10mWT (P<.001), 10-m gait steps (P<.001), TUG (P=.04), and 6MWT (P=.006). In the adjusted regression model, sex (OR, 3.92; 95% CI, 1.426–12.25; P=.007), number of interventions (OR, 1.028; 95% CI, 1.003–1.070; P=.03), and active ankle joint dorsiflexion ROM (OR, 1.047; 95% CI, 1.014–1.088; P=.005) remained significant.
The factors related to 10mWT showing changes beyond the minimally clinically important difference were found to be patient sex, number of interventions, and active ankle joint dorsiflexion ROM before intervention. When Patients with stroke who are greater active ankle joint ROM in female, use FES positively, they may benefit more from using FES.
To investigate the effectiveness of mirror therapy combined with neuromuscular electrical stimulation in promoting motor recovery of the lower limbs and walking ability in patients suffering from foot drop after stroke.
Patients were randomly divided into three groups: control, mirror therapy, and mirror therapy + neuromuscular electrical stimulation. All groups received interventions for 0.5 hours/day and five days/week for four weeks.
10-Meter walk test, Brunnstrom stage of motor recovery of the lower limbs, Modified Ashworth Scale score of plantar flexor spasticity, and passive ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion were assessed before and after the four-week period.
After four weeks of intervention, Brunnstrom stage (P = 0.04), 10-meter walk test (P < 0.05), and passive range of motion (P < 0.05) showed obvious improvements between patients in the mirror therapy and control groups. Patients in the mirror therapy + neuromuscular electrical stimulation group showed better results than those in the mirror therapy group in the 10-meter walk test (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in spasticity between patients in the two intervention groups. However, compared with patients in the control group, patients in the mirror therapy + neuromuscular electrical stimulation group showed a significant decrease in spasticity (P < 0.001).
via Effects of mirror therapy combined with neuromuscular electrical stimulation on motor recovery of lower limbs and walking ability of patients with stroke: a randomized controlled study – Qun Xu, Feng Guo, Hassan M Abo Salem, Hong Chen, Xiaolin Huang, 2017
If you or a loved one has suffered from a stroke, there are many difficulties that can develop as a result. Primarily, these effects are physical, emotional, and cognitive.
Below, we provide tips on how to overcome these common post-stroke conditions. Keep in mind that dealing with the aftermath of a stroke can be frustrating, but with patience and consistent effort, considerable progress can be made.
One of the most important ways to successfully recover from stroke, is by taking preventative measures such as knowing and recognizing the symptoms of a stroke because immediate treatment can be life saving and greatly affects the chances for a full recovery. Unfortunately the chances of a second stroke occurring increases in stroke survivors. According to The National Stroke Association, about 25% of stroke survivors will experience a second stroke. Within the first 5 years after the first stroke, risk of a second stroke is about 40% higher. Fortunately it is estimated that of all secondary strokes, about 80% of them are preventable with lifestyle changes and medical intervention. Read more about recognizing the symptoms of stroke in men and in women to better prepare you to act FAST.
Foot drop is the difficulty or inability to lift the front part of the foot because of fatigue or damage affecting the muscles and nerves that aid in its movement. To combat this, using a brace or Ankle-foot Orthoses (AFO) has proven to be a major aid in rehabilitation. These devices prevent the front of the foot from dipping down and disrupting walking movements.
Leg exercises described in this supplementary post after experiencing a stroke are crucial for recovery. While each patient should have a custom exercise routine, personalized for you, there are several exercises that should be included in most every stroke survivor’s regimen. These low-impact strength and stretching leg exercises for stroke recovery are a good complement to use in conjunction with the Saebo MyoTrac Infiniti biofeedback system.
Richard Sealy, director of The Rehab Practice, a private neuro-therapy rehabilitation program in the United Kingdom, regularly works with individuals, families, and caregivers to establish custom exercise routines to aid in recovery from long-term neurological problems, like the damage caused by stroke. While he acknowledges that each patient should have a custom exercise routine specific and personal to their struggles, he recommends a series of exercises for anyone working to strengthen their legs and improve range of motion during stroke recovery.
Rehabilitation of the legs and feet can occur at a faster rate with a combination of the aforementioned exercises and orthopedic aids such as the SaeboStep.The SaeboStep is a unique foot drop brace worn on the outside of the shoe that assists with lifting the toes when walking. It is made to eliminate cumbersome, unreliable splints and braces placed within the shoe.
Often referred to as “curled toes” or “claw toe,” this symptom is caused by a miscommunication between the brain and muscles within the foot. This misfiring of signals causes an issue with controlling muscular movements, leading to over-contracting of the toes and spasticity, a condition where there is a miscommunication between the brain and the muscles in the toes, causing them to over contract.
The best way to regain strength and movement while dealing with this condition is to create a routine with a variety of exercises—toe taps, floor grips, finger squeezes, and toe-extensor strengthening. With effort and repetition, these workouts can make a huge difference in recovery.
One of the most common deficiencies following a stroke is the impairment of the arm and hand. This typically results in decreased strength, coordination, and range of motion. Those affected are often unable to support their own arms in order to perform rehabilitation exercises. When this occurs it is crucial that you include additional arm support during rehabilitation to avoid the arms becoming weaker due to learned non-use.
Learned non-use occurs when a stroke survivor prefers to use their strong arm because it is easier to move. This tendency makes it even more difficult for a stroke survivor to recover, because challenging the weakened arm with these exercises plays a crucial role in regaining arm function. Often physical therapists and occupational therapists use a technique known as Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (or CIMT) to challenge a weakened shoulder and make further exercises and drills possible. Mobile arm supports such as the SaeboMAS and SaeboMAS mini help support the weight of the arm, allowing the user to do a much wider range of exercises. For more information about the SaeboMAS and how it can aid in stroke recovery click here.
As with rehabilitating any part of the body with reduced function after a stroke, it is important to consistently repeat the exercises and stretches to strengthen the brain-muscle connections. It is also important to stay positive and try to have fun with your rehab. Here are 35 fun rehab activities for stroke patients to help keep you motivated.
Paralysis is the inability of a muscle to move voluntarily. The National Stroke Association sites as many as 9 out of 10 stroke survivors have some degree of paralysis following a stroke. Rehabilitation and therapy can help to regain voluntary movement, even several years after the stroke takes place.
The primary symptoms of hand paralysis are spasticity (stiff muscles), weakness, and lack of coordination. Fortunately, there are several methods of treatment in addition to therapy to help manage and recover from spasticity. Additional treatments include medications to relax muscles, botox injections (relaxes muscles temporarily), stretching exercises, anti-spasticity orthotics, and functional orthoses. Surgery is another option in the most severe cases.
The least invasive and most permanent treatment for hand paralysis is therapy to rehabilitate the connection between your brain and muscles using neuroplasticity. To make these exercises even more effective and to increase your rate of recovery, it is important to repeat your hand exercises often. By performing exercises repeatedly, you are strengthening that brain-muscle connection.
Another common side effect of stroke is aphasia, which is the inability to speak or understand speech. This is one of the most frustrating side effects for survivors to deal with. It’s estimated that 25 to 40 percent of people who suffer from a stroke develop aphasia, though this condition is not limited to stroke survivors. Aphasia occurs when there is damage to the brain, specifically the left side that deals with language. There are two primary forms of aphasia: receptive aphasia and expressive aphasia. Receptive aphasia is when the individual has trouble understanding what is being said to them. Expressive aphasia is when the individual is having difficulty expressing what they want to say.
When communicating with someone with receptive aphasia, try not to use long complex sentences. When communicating with someone with expressive aphasia, it is important to be patient and remember that the person’s intelligence has not been affected by the stroke, just their ability to speak.
For those with aphasia, the most important thing you can do to improve your communication is to take a deep breath and try to relax. If you can remain relaxed and focus on what you are trying to say you will have much greater success. It is easy to get flustered or feel self conscious, but you shouldn’t. Create tools that you can use to make communication easier such as a book of words, pictures, phrases, or symbols that can help you get your message across. If you are going out and know you will not be around friends or family, it may also be helpful to carry a card or piece of paper that indicates that you have aphasia and explains what it is, just in case you find yourself needing to explain your condition.
Once these tools are set in place, seeking the help of a speech-language pathologist (SLP) can greatly increase one’s ability to regain normal speech behavior. SLPs can assist in rehabilitating all types of physical speech behavior and offer support and proper guidance for you or a loved one. Read more about aphasia and recovery here.
Following a stroke, it is fairly common for a survivor to experience PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This condition is usually associated with combat veterans and sexual-assault survivors; however, according to a study published in the journal PLoS One, almost a quarter of stroke survivors experience some form of PTSD.
Common symptoms of PTSD include the victim experiencing the traumatic event over and over in their head or in the form of nightmares. This replaying of the event is typically accompanied by the individual’s unyielding anxiety and feelings of self doubt or misplaced guilt over their condition. Some experience a state of hyperarousal or feelings of being overly alert.
The two main treatments for PTSD include medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or psychotherapy. If you are experiencing PTSD, it is important that you communicate how you feel with your doctor, family, and friends, as a strong support system can help you find the relief from psychological pain that you deserve.
Feeling tired is a normal part of life for everyone, but for stroke survivor, fatigue is a very common symptom that can be frustrating to deal with. About 40 to 70 percent of stroke survivors experience fatigue, which can make recovering feel even more difficult. Post-stroke fatigue is draining both physically and emotionally/mentally, and rest may not be the only solution.
It is important to discuss the fatigue with a doctor so they can rule out potential medical causes or determine if fatigue might stem from current medications. By speaking with the proper medical professionals and taking time to squeeze in a nap or rest as often as possible—and by maintaining a positive mindset—you can help yourself or a loved one combat the constant drowsiness of fatigue and work on returning to pre-stroke energy levels. The key thing to realize is that some level of post-stroke fatigue is normal and that survivors need to be proactive about treating and working around it.
If the limbs weakened after stroke are not consistently exercised over time, muscles have the potential to atrophy—waste away due to cell degeneration. This often occurs when the person tries to compensate for their weak limb by using their stronger limb more often. Daily attempts to move the affected limbs are necessary to maintain and improve functionality.One method is the use of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT). CIMT is a form of therapy that prevents the unaffected limbs from moving while trying to exercise the affected ones.
Inflammation in the body can cause other issues to arise, which is why it’s important to stay stress free whenever possible. When stress does begin to take hold, a hormone called cortisol floods the body, causing pH levels to become imbalanced with acidity. High acidity levels—after an extended period of time—can kill good bacteria in the body while giving rise to bad bacteria, ultimately weakening the immune system.
With that in mind, a natural probiotic like yogurt is a great way to boost good bacteria in the body. Supplemental drinks can also improve the immune system significantly. In addition to pH balance, adopting stress management exercises such as yoga, deep breathing, tai chi, qi gong, and meditation, can limit one’s cortisol levels, promoting overall health.
Experiencing a stroke is not only a major hardship to overcome physically; it can also take a huge toll on a survivor’s emotions in many ways.
If the area of your brain that controls personality or emotion is affected, you may be susceptible to changes in your emotional response or everyday behavior. Strokes may also cause emotional distress due to the suddenness of their occurrence. As with any traumatic life experience, it may take time for you or your loved one to accept and adapt to the emotional trauma of having experienced a stroke.
Some common emotional changes strokes may cause are PseudoBulbar Affect, depression, and anxiety. Thankfully, there are several methods for treating the emotional changes associated with a stroke, with the first step being to discuss how you or your loved one is feeling with a doctor. Treatment may consist of one, or a combination, of the following: one-on-one counseling, group counseling, medication, diet, and exercise. The most effective treatment is different for everyone, so it is important to discuss and explore which combination works best for your or your loved one.
Sometimes referred to as “reflex crying,” “emotional lability,” or “labile mood,” PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) is a symptom of damage to the area of the brain that controls expression of emotions, and it is one of the most frequently reported post-stroke behaviors. Characteristics of the disorder include rapid changes in mood, such as suddenly bursting into tears and stopping just as suddenly or even beginning to laugh at inappropriate times.
Survivors have a one in four chance of developing serious depression as a side effect of stroke. If you are feeling sad, hopeless, or helpless after having suffered a stroke, you may be experiencing this. Other symptoms of depression may include irritability or changes to your eating and sleeping habits. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as it may be necessary to treat with prescription antidepressants or therapy to avoid it becoming a road block to your recovery.
Along with medication and therapy, a lot of research shows that a few simple lifestyle changes help relieve the symptoms of depression. If you or a loved one is having a difficult time coping with the emotional repercussions of a stroke, here are tips on how to implement positivity and resilience:
Setting specific and meaningful goals can help keep one focused and motivated once they are achieved, and these goals can range from simple tasks to long-term accomplishments. By establishing a list consisting of difficulties and goals, overcoming obstacles can be put within reach.
When setting these goals, working with a therapist, doctor, or close friend can be a good way to find encouragement, as well as assistance in creating a list that places goals into an appropriate timeframe. Overall, a therapist will be familiar with your case, understanding the issues and complications, and will be able to offer sound advice in all aspects of recovery.
Since apathy is common during stroke recovery, staying motivated can be a challenge. Combining one’s interests with a solid rehabilitation regimen can effectively eradicate feelings of lethargy and depression. The best thing to do is to focus on a reason for recovery and to associate it with your plan of action. This can be done by implementing sentimental items into daily routines, thus giving you personal and motivational support at all times. For example, if one of your routines is to write a list of things to do for the day, try writing it on the back of a special photo. That way, as you’re checking things off, you’ll have a little reminder to keep you motivated.
The recovery plateau stage refers to the point at which a stroke survivor begins to see a slow down or stop in the progression in their recovery. Some of the most significant improvements often occur in the subacute phase, which is usually the first three to six months after the stroke (though there is anecdotal evidence of people making significant stroke recovery progress outside of that zone.)
Seeing improvement in the early days of a survivor’s recovery can make it a lot easier for them to stay motivated and continue working hard in therapy. Research shows that further recovery is still very possible after the plateau stage though, which is why it is so important to have a strong support system to encourage you to continue with therapy and working on recovery.
Since the brain is a major organ affected when it comes to strokes, chances are that some of its functions may have trouble performing like they did before. After a stroke, learning new things, or even just recalling information can be a challenge, and working through thoughts may suddenly be difficult.
After rehabilitation, many stroke survivors do find themselves able to return to work, but preparing for this transition can come with a lot of questions. Are you physically going to be able to perform your job? Will your disability benefits lapse? What do you need to communicate with your employer? These can be tough questions, but they do have answers. Some may not ever be able to go back to the same work, but for others, just a little assistance is needed.
When you are ready to return to work, it is important to know your rights and what your employer is, and is not, legally required to provide to employees with disabilities. Keep in mind that if you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job even with reasonable accommodation, your employer is not obligated to offer you a different position or create a new role for you. They might be willing to anyway, but it is not a requirement.
Not only is it common for stroke survivors to experience, but memory loss can affect a wide range of people through multiple factors. Age, physical trauma, and emotional stress have the potential to cause memory decline, but rebuilding memory’s strength is highly possible and can be fun.
Specifically, incorporating technology into daily rehabilitation exercises is a great way to show quick improvements. There are numerous apps for smartphones and tablets that use different techniques to significantly improve memory, and they have the ability to set reminders, schedule appointments, and oversee other illnesses.
A common problem among stroke survivors, this symptom disrupts cognitive functions, which can make it challenging for one to sort out information.
Due to the damage of blood vessels from a stroke, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar must be maintained at healthy levels to ensure good blood flow throughout the body. If you are diabetic, it is crucial that you are paying careful attention to your blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies have shown that by managing these three components, vascular dementia can be decreased or prevented.
The process of stroke recovery is long and full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. It takes hard work and dedication to regain mental and physical function after a stroke. The information and tips above will help you to identify and overcome the many challenges that come with recovery.
To read our answers to the most common stroke recovery questions, click here. And remember, at the end of the day, there are dozens of approaches you can take to improve the speed of stroke recovery.
All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by the Saebo website is solely at your own risk.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the newly designed multi joint anklefoot orthosis on the gait and dynamic balance of stroke patients having foot drop.
[Subjects and Methods] This study was conducted with 15 subjects who were diagnosed with stroke. 10-meter walk test, functional reaching test and timed up and go test were measured after each subjects wore a plastic ankle-foot orthosis and a multi joint anklefoot orthosis that consists of orthosis joints (having free joint, anterior-stop joint, poster-stop joint, and Klenzak joint functions). In the case of the newly developed multi joint ankle-foot orthosis, the experiments were performed using posterior-stop joint and Klenzak joint.
[Results] 10-meter walk test, functional reaching test and timed up and go test showed significant differences in the orthosis using posterior joint-stop function and Klenzak joint function.
[Conclusion] The appropriate use of the four functions of the newly designed multi joint ankle-foot orthosis is expected to have a positive effect on improving the gait and balancing ability of stroke patients having foot drop.
The SaeboStep consists of a lightweight, uniquely designed foot drop brace that provides convenience and comfort while offering optimum foot clearance and support during walking.
The SaeboStep was designed to replace uncomfortable, stiff, or bulky splints that go inside the shoe as well as poorly manufactured braces designed for outside of the shoe that lack support and durability.
Foot drop, also known as dropped foot or drop foot, is the inability to raise the front part of the foot due to weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot (National Institute of Neurological Disorders).
Consequentially, people who have foot drop scuff their toes along the ground; they may also bend their knees to lift their foot higher than usual to avoid the scuffing, which causes what is called a “steppage” gait.
The SaeboStep can even be worn comfortably with the majority of male or female shoe styles. Individuals can use their favorite shoes by ordering the accessory kit to enable footwear without eyelets to be modified.
Learn how to customize your favorite shoes.
Objective: To compare the randomized controlled trial evidence for therapeutic effects on walking of functional electrical stimulation and ankle foot orthoses for foot drop caused by central nervous system conditions.
Data sources: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, REHABDATA, PEDro, NIHR Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, Scopus and clinicaltrials.gov.
Study selection: One reviewer screened titles/abstracts. Two independent reviewers then screened the full articles.
Data extraction: One reviewer extracted data, another screened for accuracy. Risk of bias was assessed by 2 independent reviewers using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.
Data synthesis: Eight papers were eligible; 7 involving participants with stroke and 1 involving participants with cerebral palsy. Two papes reporting different measures from the same trial were grouped, resulting in 7 synthesized randomized controlled trials (n= 464). Meta-analysis of walking speed at final assessment (p = 0.46), for stroke participants (p = 0.54) and after 4–6 weeks’ use (p = 0.49) showed equal improvement for both devices.
Conclusion: Functional electrical stimulation and ankle foot orthoses have an equally positive therapeutic effect on walking speed in non-progressive central nervous system diagnoses. The current randomized controlled trial evidence base does not show whether this improvement translates into the user’s own environment or reveal the mechanisms that achieve that change. Future studies should focus on measuring activity, muscle activity and gait kinematics. They should also report specific device details, capture sustained therapeutic effects and involve a variety of central nervous system diagnoses.
Published on August 30, 2017
Bioness announces it has begun shipping the L300 Go Systems, cleared by the FDA in early 2017 and available in four configurations for use in patients with foot drop and/or muscle weakness related to upper motor neuron disease/injury.
The L300 Go System succeeds the NESS L300 Foot Drop System and NESS L300 Plus System, and includes numerous advancements designed to optimize therapy sessions and promote functional gains at home.
Among these is comprehensive 3D motion detection of gait events, via a learning algorithm that analyzes patient movement and offers electrical stimulation precisely when needed during the gait cycle.
Additional features, according to a media release from Valencia, Calif-based Bioness, include adaptive motion detection and onboard controls that eliminate dependence on foot sensors or remote controls; multi-channel stimulation, which enables clinicians to adjust dorsiflexion and inversion/eversion with a novel new electrode options; and myBioness, a new mobile iOS application designed to empower home users to extend rehabilitative gains through setting goals and tracking recovery progress.
“Today’s value-based healthcare model demands that rehabilitative professionals keep patients motivated through superior, more personalized care,” says Todd Cushman, president and CEO of Bioness, in the release. “With the introduction of the L300 Go, clinicians now have access to technological innovations that keep patients engaged during the recovery process while improving mobility in the clinic and community.”
Current users of the L300 Foot Drop System and the L300 Plus System will be eligible for a Customer Loyalty Upgrade Program, which is designed to make the L300 Go more accessible for users in the clinic and community.
[Source(s): Bioness, PR Newswire]