Posts Tagged saebo

[BLOG POST] How to Treat Spasticity After Stroke – Saebo

How to Treat Spasticity After Stroke-blog

After a stroke, 17 to 38 percent of people experience spasticity. After a spinal cord injury, 40 to 78 percent of people experience it. Individuals with mild spasticity might have muscle tightness and stiffness, and those with severe spasticity can experience painful, uncontrollable spasms in their extremities. A charley horse is nothing in comparison.

What is Spasticity?

Spasticity is a neuromuscular condition usually caused by damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement. This damage causes a change in the balance of signals between the nervous system and the muscles. It is usually found in individuals affected by stroke, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis.

If left untreated, spasticity can lead to adverse effects such as overactive reflexes, pressure sores, chronic constipation, urinary tract infections, and contracture. Contracture causes the muscles in the hand and wrist to tighten and shrink, which can in turn lead to deformity of the joints and posture.

How is Spasticity Treated?

Fortunately, there are many treatments available to help individuals manage and recover from spasticity. In order to achieve the best results, most people will use a variety of treatments. Your healthcare provider will help determine the right combination of treatments for you. Treatments can vary based on the severity and cause of your spasticity. Below are some of the common treatments for spasticity.

Oral Medications

age, medicine, healthcare and people concept - close up of senior man hands with pills and water glass at home

One way to relax muscles affected by spasticity is taking oral medications that block the neurotransmitters causing the muscles to tighten. These medications are commonly known as muscle relaxers. Baclofen is often prescribed as it acts on the central nervous system, reducing spasms and allowing for greater range of motion. Tizanidine is another common medication for treating spasticity that blocks nerve impulses.

There are drawbacks to using oral medications to treat spasticity. One is that there is no way to target specific muscles. Muscle relaxers will relax all of your muscles regardless of whether they are affected by spasticity or not. Some of these medications also have side effects like drowsiness. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that none of these medications are a cure for spasticity. They work best when combined with stretching and strengthening exercises.

Injections

Medical vials for injection with a syringe isolated on white background.

Rather than taking oral medications that affect every muscle, having injected medications allows the affected muscles to be targeted specifically. The most common injected medication is one you’re probably familiar with: botulinum toxin or Botox. Botox injection is not just a cosmetic procedure to reverse the signs of aging; it is a neurotoxin that blocks the chemical that tells your muscles to start contracting.

By injecting botox into the affected muscles, the risk of spasms and spasticity is reduced. Lessening the spasticity in a patient’s muscles can allow them to participate in physical therapy and complete exercises that will help them recover. Botox can have some side effects, though, such as soreness, rash, trouble swallowing, and weak muscles.

Stretching Exercises

physiotherapy -therapist excercising with patient working on arm stretching

If you are suffering from spasticity, doing stretching exercises is the simplest and most important step you can take to manage it and recover. These exercises are often used in conjunction with other treatments like medication and orthoses, especially if your spasticity is severe and you cannot complete the exercises without additional interventions. For those with mild to moderate spasticity, you may be able to complete stretching exercises unassisted.

When starting an exercise routine, your therapist will teach you passive range-of-motion (PROM) exercises. PROM exercises are called as such because the muscles are moved by an outside force, which can be your own unaffected hand, a machine, or another person. These exercises are effective at treating spasticity as they help prevent stiffness in your joints, work to stretch muscles, and help increase and maintain range of motion. While your therapist will instruct you on which stretches to do and how often, in general, you should move your affected limb through its full range of motion at least three times per day.

Anti-Spasticity Orthoses

Spasticity can be reduced by using special orthotics designed to relieve pressure on the joints, reduce muscle spasms, and provide a prolonged muscle stretch. While static splints were previously used to keep the arm and wrist in a neutral position, studies have shown that static splinting is not effective against spasticity or preventing contracture and may actually cause joint deformity. Instead, dynamic splints like the SaeboStretch allow the fingers to move through flexion caused by involuntary reflexes (like the affected hand curling when you yawn or sneeze) and increased tone and gradually return to the desired resting position, reducing pain and helping to stretch out muscles.

Functional Orthoses

The SaeboGlove is another option for patients with mild spasticity. The SaeboGlove’s mechanical devices incorporate extra features that support specific joints and muscles, decreasing the impact of gravity and making it easier to move stiff or sore joints. Spasticity is less likely when patients rely on these artificial tension systems, which can be adjusted as they regain more strength and mobility. For patients with more severe spasticity, the SaeboFlex provides additional support.

Surgery

Traumatology orthopedic surgery hospital emergency operating room prepared for arthroscopy operation photo of nurse scrubbing doctor putting hands insterile plastic gloves.

In severe cases of spasticity where the tendon has shortened permanently, surgery may be necessary. Surgery is usually saved as a last resort and only considered if the other available treatments have failed and the spasticity is causing significant pain or limiting the patient’s independence and mobility. The most frequently performed surgeries for spasticity are orthopedic procedures. The tendons can be released or lengthened to remove tension, and the muscles can be denervated.

Releasing the Tension

Spasticity can negatively affect your life in many ways by causing chronic and excruciating muscle pain. Luckily, for many people, spasticity is a treatable condition, even if their spasticity is severe. Effective medications, stretches, and specialized devices are a few of the common methods to relieve pain. By working with your doctor, you can find the treatment options that are right for you.

via How to Treat Spasticity After Stroke | Saebo

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[BLOG POST] Causes And Prevention Of Muscle Atrophy After Stroke – Saebo

After a stroke, the body needs time to recover. Neurological damage prevents the brain from properly sending the signals that trigger body movements, resulting in prolonged muscle inactivity. Though a period of rest after a stroke is necessary, too much rest can be a bad thing. If muscles in the body remain stagnant for too long, a condition called muscle atrophy will take effect. In many cases, a stroke survivor will lose neurological connections to an arm, leg, hand, or foot, and this loss accelerates muscle atrophy, making rehabilitation more difficult.

What Is Muscle Atrophy?

Muscle atrophy is the deterioration of muscle tissue due to extended periods of minimal use. In other words, muscles begin to waste away if they are not exercised consistently. For instance, if someone fractures their leg and wears a cast for weeks, they will see a significant difference in the muscle mass of the injured leg when the cast is removed.

This same reality applies to those who suffer from conditions that prevent use of certain body parts. Stroke is just one of several precipitating factors for muscle atrophy.

 

Causes Of Muscle Atrophy

Neurological Diseases

Conditions such as stroke, learned non-use, neuropathy, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord infections can diminish the stimulation of the nerves in certain body parts, causing those muscles to be inactive. Ultimately, inactive muscles atrophy. Sadly, atrophy makes the patient more prone to injury, exacerbating their underlying neurological disease and making rehabilitation even more challenging.

Learned Non-Use

An individual experiencing difficulties with an unresponsive limb will naturally compensate by relying on their healthy limb. In the short term, this allows a stroke survivor to complete daily tasks, but over time, the inactive limb will weaken further. This compensative imbalance is called learned non-use because one learns to compensate for and, therefore, underuse the weakened limb. “If you don’t use it, you lose it”– unfortunately, a person does actually lose muscle and neural connections over time if they allow a limb to remain dormant.

Prolonged Illness Or Hospitalization

In addition to neurological complications, any illness or injury that requires a lengthy hospitalization will have a profound effect on the substantive properties of the muscle tissues. A combination of immobility, fatigue, and malnutrition can speed up the process of muscular degeneration and prolongs the recovery time for the underlying health issue.

Poor Nutrition

The body requires specific amounts of nutrients and vitamins to function properly—the adage “you are what you eat” holds real truth and what you put in your body plays a pivotal role in your overall health. This is especially true for your muscle health. A body deprived of nutrient-rich foods—such as vegetables, fruits, and essential proteins—can quickly fall victim to muscle atrophy.

Additionally, those who have a hard time chewing and swallowing food, due to any number of health conditions, are at a higher risk of muscle atrophy. If eating is painful, it is likely an individual will naturally limit the amount and variety of foods they eat. This means less nutrition and, if combined with non-use, will speed up atrophy of the muscles.

Preventing And Combating Atrophy

Given the severe consequences of muscle atrophy, it is best to employ preventative measures if possible. Fortunately, the same strategies that prevent atrophy can also facilitate the recovery of someone who has already suffered extensive muscle loss.

Get Your Body Moving

The best way to keep your muscles from wasting away is to get up and move whenever possible. For those recovering from a stroke or any other debilitating disease, exercise may seem like an uphill battle, but remember that when it comes to rehabilitation, no progress is too small. Prolonged inactivity contributes greatly to muscle atrophy, so even the slightest movements can make a big difference.

Work With Your Therapist

Most survivors of stroke may find it challenging to motivate themselves to move and keep moving, so a therapy or rehabilitation program can be incredibly helpful in the pursuit of a swift recovery. Health care professionals can create a personalized routine to provide you with consistency while offering positive reinforcement when facing challenging obstacles.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation is a great therapeutic option for many stroke survivors. Different forms of electrotherapy can be deployed to address pain and weakness in affected areas, along with additional targeted benefits, including but not limited to increased circulation and decreased spasticity and pain. Tools like Saebo AvivaStim trigger muscles to relax and contract according to a comprehensive range of programs, aiding in muscle re-education and strengthening. The SaeboStim Micro is an electromesh garment that delivers electrical stimulation to an affected arm and hand, addressing spasticity, weakness, pain, edema and limited function. 

Active Exercises

Active exercises are exercises that require muscle exertion or body movement and are necessary for stroke rehabilitation, especially if muscle atrophy is a concern. Tools like the SaeboGlide can help strengthen the shoulder and elbow. As can be seen in this video, even if a survivor has lost hand function, the SaeboGlide comes with a strap to secure the hand to the sleeve allowing them to actively participate in exercisesIn addition to the improved physical fitness from a regular exercise regimen, there is scientific reason to believe stroke survivors who exercise enjoy cognitive and psychological benefits as well. Learn more about active exercises here.

Don’t Forget To Stretch!

Passive exercises are called as such because the muscles are moved by an outside force: either a machine, another body part, or another person. Also known as range-of-motion, or ROM exercises, passive exercises help prevent stiffness in your joints, work to stretch muscles, and can help increase and maintain range-of-motion. Learn more about passive exercises here.

You Can Combat Muscle Atrophy

Just as a tree is barren in the winter only to regenerate come the spring, muscles in the body can regain strength after they atrophy. If you or a loved one is currently dealing with muscle atrophy, or if feelings of frustration persist during the rehabilitation process, trust that recovery is possible with the right treatment plan and the support of family, friends, and healthcare professionals.

Also, remember that the body heals at its own pace. If a person remains patient in their practice and steadfast in their efforts, they will surely regain strength over time.


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.

via Causes And Prevention Of Muscle Atrophy After Stroke | Saebo

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[BLOG POST] At Home Leg Exercises For Stroke Recovery Patients – Saebo

Reclaim Mobility With Leg Exercises For Stroke Recovery

Stroke recovery can be a long process. Managing the ongoing need to rebuild bodily control and strength after neurological damage is no easy task. Each year nearly 800,000 people in the United States alone will suffer from a stroke, leaving them with ongoing physical and neurological damage.

If you have suffered from a stroke, loss of balance and control can make standing and walking difficult. While outpatient stroke recovery therapy is vital to improving this problem, you can also continue improving after returning home with the help of these leg exercises for stroke recovery.

Leg Exercises for Stroke Recovery

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 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 to help strengthen the legs and improve range of motion during stroke recovery.

Sealy understands the importance of fast progress after a stroke, and including ongoing at-home exercises can improve health and well-being. 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.

As with any exercise program, please consult your healthcare provider before you begin. If you notice increased pain, discomfort, or other troubling systems, stop these exercises immediately and talk to your doctor.

Exercise #1 – Standing and Balance

Balance and coordination are often lost after a stroke. This can make simple actions, like standing and walking,
difficult. In addition, weakness can occur around the muscles on the exterior of the hip area.

Exercises for standing and balance are vital to helping you regain your quality of life after a stroke. When performing these exercises, always hold onto a table or similar stable surface to avoid a fall.

 

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Basic Level Standing and Balance Exercise

Hold on to a stable surface, standing straight and tall while you transfer your weight to one side. Swing the other leg to the side. Use your balance to hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat a few times, as long as you have the strength, and then switch legs.

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Intermediate Standing and Balance Exercises

Once you have mastered the first exercise, move on to the intermediate level. Again, hold on to a stable surface, keeping your back tall and straight. Transfer your weight to one leg, and bring the other leg up in front of you, bending the knee. Hold this position for a count of 10, and slowly lower it back down. Repeat, then switch legs.

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Advanced Standing and Balance Exercises

Finally, progress to the advanced level. This time, stand straight and tall and transfer your weight to one leg. Swing the other leg out behind you as far as you can. Hold for 10 seconds, if you can, and lower it back down slowly. Repeat and switch legs.

This progression of exercises will strengthen the hip muscle and improve balance, so you can regain normal use of your legs. This exercise series pairs well with the Saebo MayoTrac Infiniti biofeedback triggered stimulation system.

 

Exercise #2 – Bridging

Often after a stroke, the hips and the core muscle groups, which are crucial to standing and walking, become weak. Bridging exercises help to strengthen these core muscles. Like the standing and balance exercises, bridging exercises move through a progression to help rebuild your strength and coordination.

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Basic Bridging Exercise

The basic bridging exercise, called “Inner Range Quad Movement”, builds strength in the thigh muscles. To perform this exercise, lay down and place a pillow or rolled towel under the knee joint. Then, press the back of the knee into the pillow or rolled towel to lift your heel off the floor.

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Intermediate Bridging Exercise

“Ski Squats” take bridging exercises to the next level. For this exercise, lean against a flat wall, placing your feet in front of you. Using the wall to support your weight and your back, slowly bend your knees to lower yourself down. Hold this position for 10 seconds, if you can. Slide back up, supporting your weight on the wall, until you are in a standing position.

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Advanced Bridging Exercise

To take bridging exercises to the advanced level, repeat the “Ski Squat”, but place a gym ball between yourself and the wall when you bend your knees into the squat position.

 

Exercise #3 – Clams

If the lower legs are affected after a stroke, Clams can provide strengthening and improved range of motion. Clams focuses on building strength and coordination in the lower leg, increasing range of motion and control.

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Basic Clams Exercise – In Sitting

Before starting Clams, you must stretch the calf muscle and build coordination in the lower body. In Sitting helps with this. In a sitting position, create a stirrup around one foot using a towel or belt, placing the stirrup around the ball of the foot. Gently pull the stirrup up towards your body to stretch the calf muscle. Then, pull it with the outer hand to turn the foot out, continuing to stretch the muscle.

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Intermediate Clams Exercise

Once you have build some flexibility, you are ready for the Clams exercise. Lay down on your side, and bend your knees, resting one on top of the other. Then, while you keep your feet together, lift the upper knee away from the other knee, holding them apart for a count of 10 seconds. Slowly lower your knee back down. While performing this exercise, make sure that you do not roll your hips back.

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Advanced Clams Exercise

After mastering Clams, take it to the next level by lifting the knee and the foot of the upper leg. Again, hold the position for a count of 10 seconds. Lower it back down. Repeat a few times to build strength and range of motion.

Rebuild Strength and Coordination with Stroke Recovery Exercises

Strokes can occur in people of any age, although nearly 75% of all strokes occur after the age of 65, and an individual’s risk doubles after 55. Each year, approximately 600,000 people suffer from their first stroke, and an additional 185,000 have a recurrent stroke.

If you have suffered one or more strokes, it can be easy to feel discouraged at the lack of mobility and control you experience. Stroke exercises, like these, can help you regain that control and build up your strength again, so you can recover from the neurological damage of a stroke.

For extra support in advancing your recovery after a stroke, check out the many advanced products from Saebo to help you every step of the way.

Which Product is Right for Me?

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[VIDEO] Henry Hoffman Q&A Video Series: Why SaeboStim Micro? – YouTube

Published on Oct 16, 2017

Saebo, Inc. is a medical device company primarily engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of affordable and novel clinical solutions designed to improve mobility and function in individuals suffering from neurological and orthopedic conditions. With a vast network of Saebo-trained clinicians spanning six continents, Saebo has helped over 100,000 clients around the globe achieve a new level of independence.
In 2001, two occupational therapists had one simple, but powerful goal – to provide neurological clients access to transformative and life changing products.
At the time, treatment options for improving arm and hand function were limited. The technology that did exist was expensive and inaccessible for home use. With inadequate therapy options often leading to unfavorable outcomes, health professionals routinely told their clients that they have “reached a plateau” or “no further gains can be made”. The founders believed that it was not the clients who had plateaued, but rather their treatment options had plateaued.
Saebo’s commitment – “No Plateau in Sight” – was inspired by this mentality; and the accessible, revolutionary solutions began.
Saebo’s revolutionary product offering was based on the latest advances in rehabilitation research. From the SaeboFlex which allows clients to incorporate their hand functionally in therapy or at home, to the SaeboMAS, an unweighting device used to assist the arm during daily living tasks and exercise training, “innovation” and “affordability” can now be used in the same sentence.
Over the last ten years, Saebo has grown into a leading global provider of rehabilitative products created through the unrelenting leadership and the strong network of clinicians around the world. As we celebrate our history and helping more than 100,000 clients regain function, we are growing this commitment to affordability and accessibility even further by making our newest, most innovative products more accessible than ever.

 

via Henry Hoffman Q&A Video Series: Why SaeboStim Micro? – YouTube

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[BLOG POST] Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy After Stroke – Saebo

Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy After Stroke-blog

 

When a stroke causes a person to lose the use of one of their limbs, they can easily get frustrated, stop trying to use it at all, and start relying solely on the unaffected limb. This is called learned non-use; it means that the stroke survivor has learned to stop using an affected limb because of its lack of response.

Learned non-use makes it even more difficult for the patient to recover movement and function. This is why many physical therapists and occupational therapists use a technique called constraint-induced movement therapy (or CIMT) to help their patients recover as much movement and function as possible in affected limbs.

 

What is Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT)?

constraint-movement-therapy-glove

CIMT is practiced most widely with hands and fingers. It consists of placing a mitt over the patient’s functional hand and forcing them to use the stroke-affected limb for several hours a day. The patient performs a repetitive movement so that the brain can repair the pathways.

This therapy technique uses two parts and is done for two weeks. The first part is to restrain the non-affected limb for 90 percent of the patient’s waking time. The second part is to get the patient to practice a specific movement for six hours a day, using shaping. Shaping, also known as adaptive task practice or ATP, is a method of training that involves breaking down tasks into manageable components and changing one parameter of the task at a time. Shaping improves motor relearning and problem-solving. This intensive program is meant to support the brain in making new pathways for movement in the affected limb.

CIMT is useful for both patients with chronic hemiparesis and those recovering from acute stroke. It helps patients of the chronic hemiparesis group overcome learned non-use. For patients recovering from acute stroke, CIMT contributes to preventing learned non-use in the first place. In both cases, CIMT is an effective tool in neurorehabilitation.

There is a somewhat less-intense version of CIMT, called modified CIMT (or mCIMT). It involves the exact same activities, i.e. restraint of the unaffected limb and practice of repetitive movements in the affected limb, but without the 90 percent of waking time and six-hours-per-day schedule of regular CIMT. However, the therapeutic factors remain the same: restraint of the unaffected limb and movement practice in the affected limb are what help with learned non-use and movement recovery.

 

How CIMT Works

brain-working

Several neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies have shown that CIMT can stimulate the brain into quickly reorganizing itself, especially in the areas of the cortex that control the affected limb. In other words, CIMT changes the brain so the patient can recover use of the affected limb.

Randomized controlled trials of CIMT have shown that in patients with some active wrist and hand movement, constraint-induced movement therapy had a positive impact on movement and function.

Specifically, the EXCITE trial, held between 2001 and 2003 at several universities, showed that CIMT helped patients with mild to moderate limb impairment learn to increase their use of the affected limb, effectively fighting learned non-use. The positive results lasted for as long as two years.

 

Saebo and CIMT

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Several Saebo items can help with CIMT. The first is the SaeboGlove used for patients with difficulty opening the hands, weak hands and/or mild spasticity. For patients that have more than mild spasticity, the SaeboFlex is indicated. If the patient needs assistance with opening and closing fingers during CIMT therapy, both devices provide support via a spring or tensioner system which imitates the releasing motion once a person tries to let go of an object.

The SaeboMAS and SaeboMAS mini can also be used for CIMT. In the MAS the patient’s arm is unweighted, reducing tone in the hand allowing for more distal control. When the shoulder exerts itself, tone in the hand increases due to more effort taking place by the patient.

If the patient’s fingers are generally clenched into a fist but can be stretched open passively, using the SaeboStretch glove prior to CIMT will help the patient recover some range of motion. Depending on the severity of the case, many clients can reduce the tightness in the hand usually within several weeks to several months.

A Saebo-trained physical or occupational therapist uses Saebo therapy in conjunction with CIMT to promote stroke recovery, effectively fighting learned non-use and supporting neurorehabilitation.

Patients with mild to moderate impairment can benefit a lot from Saebo therapy and CIMT. The Saebo orthoses support the patient in gaining strength and range of motion, while CIMT fights learned non-use and promotes changes in the brain that lead to movement and function recovery in affected limbs.


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.

via Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy After Stroke | Saebo

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[BLOG POST] Guidelines To Flying After A Stroke – Saebo

After suffering from a stroke, it is likely that a survivor will have limited activity. Issues with daily routines and general mobility are common, but one of the most difficult factors to consider is the idea of traveling by plane.

Transporting yourself or a loved one who has just battled a stroke can seem frightening, and with good reason. In most cases, neurological damage from a stroke has impacted the body, which creates concern when placing an individual into an environment where altitude and air pressure are variables. But as risky as it may appear, flying poses no immediate threat to a stroke survivor as long as necessary precautions are taken.

Is it Safe to Fly After a Stroke?

When it comes down to a stroke survivor’s ability to fly, the answer is yes. Flying shouldn’t be a detriment to a survivor’s health, but there are several things to consider before booking a ticket.

Timing

First off, it is crucial to avoid flying within the first couple weeks of having a stroke. This span can reveal some of the strongest signs of mental and physical impairment, so giving a survivor time to adjust is important. In any situation, make sure to consult with a doctor before making travel plans.

Less Oxygen

Once you or a loved one are on board, another factor to keep in mind is the amount of oxygen available on an aircraft. Typically, cabins provide less oxygen than a normal environment, so if one has any respiratory issues or heart complications, this is something to account for. Generally speaking, lower oxygen levels shouldn’t cause a problem, but making sure you or a loved one are comfortable is always a top priority.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

No matter who you are, sitting for a long time can cause pain in your muscles, especially your legs. For shorter flights (one to two hours), inactivity may not be so severe, but longer flights (5 hours or more) are a different story. When seated for an extended time, blood flow in the body begins to slow down, making it easier for blood to clot. Basically, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms within a vein, mostly occurring in the legs.

Cases of a DVT have the ability to become more severe if a small clot dislodges itself and travels to the lungs, heart, or brain. As scary as this may sound, a DVT can happen to anybody during long-distance travel, so there is no need to worry too much, but those who have a history of stroke are more prone to experiencing it. The best way to avoid having a DVT is to stand and stretch every hour so that blood circulates efficiently. If standing is not possible, then manually bending the arms and legs is a good alternative.

Hypercoagulability (Thrombophilia)

For some individuals, a condition known as hypercoagulability (formally known as Thrombophilia) can be a serious issue to consider before flying. Hypercoagulability is an abnormality that heightens the risk of blood clotting. Check with your doctor regarding treatment options such as blood thinners or compression stockings. It is also most likely to be a concern for those who have suffered from a DVT in the past. If you have or a loved one has experienced a DVT, talk with your doctor to see if you may be susceptible to hypercoagulability.

What Medication Should I Take to Fly?

When it comes to medication, being prepared is key. Flights are notorious for running late and experiencing delays, so it is highly recommended that you pack whatever medications you may need into your carry-on luggage. In the off-chance that your carry-on luggage needs to be checked, you can get innovative and pack your necessities into a purse or backpack that you can carry with you at all times. Most airlines allow you to bring liquid medications or dietary supplements on board, but checking your airline’s safety regulations beforehand is always a good idea. To provide additional support, consider getting a note or prescription from your primary doctor that lists the medication you will be taking with you; that way, you can avoid any potential interruptions.

What Extra Steps Will There Be For Me?

Along with making arrangements for the actual flight, it is extremely helpful to take advantage of every opportunity the airline itself can provide. For example, if you know in advance that your itinerary will be strenuous, you can call the airline before your trip—preferably 48 hours prior—to discuss any concerns.

More than likely, your airline will accommodate you as much as possible, but remember that crew members are not allowed to give any kind of physical, individualized care. If you or a loved one cannot perform certain physical requirements, or if there is limited mobility, it may be a good idea to travel with a friend or an affordable attendant that can assist in any situation.

If any kind of portable equipment is needed for air travel, the majority of airlines will store up to two items free of charge; however, substantial items—a wheelchair or something larger—must be checked.

In the Air Again

Being a stroke survivor certainly comes with its challenges, but it doesn’t mean that you or a loved one can’t live a full life. With any serious medical condition, a certain level of patience and resilience is required to prevail, and traveling via plane is doable with the right amount of support.

If you or a loved one plan to fly in the future, make sure to get the proper clearance and guidance from a healthcare professional, and check with the airline on the assistance they can offer. By asking questions and being prepared, you can ensure that your next trip will be successful. For more answers on common questions about recovering after a stroke, click here.

via Guidelines To Flying After A Stroke | Saebo

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[BLOG POST] Signs Your Loved One is Recovering From Stroke – Saebo

A stroke—no matter how severe—can be devastating. Not only does it have the potential to cause damage physically and mentally, but the recovery process can be equally as difficult to navigate. With countless hurdles to overcome, monitoring progress during stroke recovery can be very frustrating, but there are certain things that you or a loved one can do to improve the experience and see results.  

Make and Keep Recovery Goals in Mind

The best thing that you or a loved one can do to set the pace for a healthy recovery is to be honest and open about any limitations or weaknesses that have surfaced as a result of a stroke attack. This transparency will make it clear what obstacles lie ahead and help you set firm, achievable goals.

Another way to remain inspired by this strategy is to personalize your goals as much as possible. For example, if a stroke survivor is trying to regain mobility in their legs, one of their goals may be to dance with a spouse to their favorite song. With the assistance of a personal touch, following through with a plan of action can offer an extra boost of support as opposed to generic goals lacking emotional incentives.

If you’re unsure of your status, or you need help formulating a plan, make sure to speak with a doctor or therapist that can set you on the right course.

Track and Assess Progress

Trying to get a handle on how you or a loved one is recovering after a stroke is perhaps one of the hardest things to do. This is because there are usually multiple problems that need immediate attention, rather than just one issue to focus on.

To combat this overwhelming feeling, make it a habit to track your progress both mentally and physically. Be sure to document your developments each day you work on a specific area no matter how small they may be. For physical categories like strength, range of motion, endurance, and decreasing spasticity, make sure to begin each session by writing down pre-workout numbers, and then noting the post-workout numbers so that comparisons can be made over time. The simple act of recording information will show concrete evidence of improvements or shortcomings, and this information can be further discussed with a doctor or therapist to ensure a pathway to success.

Keep Regular Therapy Appointments

Creating a routine and following it on your own can be a great choice for those who are easily self-motivated, but let’s face it, many of us can get unfocused or unmotivated. If you find yourself falling under the latter, then scheduling regular therapy appointments is the perfect way to guarantee continual regiments, as well as consistent support. Especially during the early stages of stroke recovery, having a solid team of trained healthcare professionals can assist in establishing a foundation so that individual recovery can then take place.

Exercise at Home Every Day

Ultimately, the benefits of a recovery program will only be experienced if a stroke survivor keeps up with it. Even though a routine is created by a therapist or doctor, the responsibility of executing it falls entirely on the patient, so making sure to stay active and consistent is essential for progress.

In addition to following a schedule, a stroke survivor must also take into consideration the importance of repetition as it applies to the exercises themselves. Since the main objective for stroke recovery is to restore the body’s abilities, it’s necessary to repeat exercises efficiently and for the correct amount of time. In the way that maintaining a healthy diet requires you to eat nutritious foods every day at multiple times, the body requires repetitive motions to keep up functionality and regain power.

Rehab is an Opportunity

Regardless of where you are in your recovery or where you think you should be, know that all pathways of rehabilitation are different and that there are no expectations to meet besides the ones you set for yourself.

After reading this article, if you happen to discover something that you can work on, that’s great! Healing yourself after a stroke doesn’t have to be experienced as a chore or burden to carry around; better yet, it should be embraced as an opportunity to learn about the body and what can be done to improve it.

If you or a loved one feels that they could benefit from a routine of setting goals and tracking progress, speak with a therapist or doctor to help get started. With patience and understanding, recovery is certainly within reach.

via Signs Your Loved One is Recovering From Stroke | Saebo

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[VIDEO] Henry Hoffman Q&A Video Series: Can Patients Years Following Stroke Actually Make Progress? – YouTube

Saebo, Inc. is a medical device company primarily engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of affordable and novel clinical solutions designed to improve mobility and function in individuals suffering from neurological and orthopedic conditions. With a vast network of Saebo-trained clinicians spanning six continents, Saebo has helped over 100,000 clients around the globe achieve a new level of independence. In 2001, two occupational therapists had one simple, but powerful goal – to provide neurological clients access to transformative and life changing products. At the time, treatment options for improving arm and hand function were limited. The technology that did exist was expensive and inaccessible for home use. With inadequate therapy options often leading to unfavorable outcomes, health professionals routinely told their clients that they have “reached a plateau” or “no further gains can be made”. The founders believed that it was not the clients who had plateaued, but rather their treatment options had plateaued. Saebo’s commitment – “No Plateau in Sight” – was inspired by this mentality; and the accessible, revolutionary solutions began. Saebo’s revolutionary product offering was based on the latest advances in rehabilitation research. From the SaeboFlex which allows clients to incorporate their hand functionally in therapy or at home, to the SaeboMAS, an unweighting device used to assist the arm during daily living tasks and exercise training, “innovation” and “affordability” can now be used in the same sentence. Over the last ten years, Saebo has grown into a leading global provider of rehabilitative products created through the unrelenting leadership and the strong network of clinicians around the world. As we celebrate our history and helping more than 100,000 clients regain function, we are growing this commitment to affordability and accessibility even further by making our newest, most innovative products more accessible than ever.

via Henry Hoffman Q&A Video Series: Can Patients Years Following Stroke Actually Make Progress? – YouTube

 

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[BLOG POST] SaeboFlex Helps Client Regain Hand Function 23 Years After Stroke

SaeboFlexStroke survivor exhibits remarkable improvement in hand function more than two decades after stroke, disproving theories that recovery window is limited to 6 months. 

Charlotte, N.C. – Tuesday, July 25, 2017 – Until recently, researchers believed that if a stroke survivor exhibited no improvement within the first 6 months, then he or she would have little to no chance of regaining motor function in the future. This assumed end of recovery is called a plateau. However, a groundbreaking new article published in the Journal of Neurophysiology discusses a stroke patient’s remarkable improvement decades after suffering a stroke at the age of 15. Doctors Peter Sörös, Robert Teasell, Daniel F. Hanley, and J. David Spence formally dismiss previous theories that stroke recovery occurs within 6 months, reporting that the patient experienced “recovery of hand function that began 23 years after the stroke.”

The patient’s stroke resulted in paralysis on the left side of his body, rendering his left hand completely nonfunctional, despite regular physical therapy. More than twenty years after his stroke, the patient took up swimming when his doctor recommended he lose weight. A year later, he began to show signs of movement on his affected side and returned to physical therapy. Therapists fitted the patient with the SaeboFlex, a mechanical device shown to improve hand function and speed up recoveryand, after only a few months of therapy, he began picking up coins with his previously nonfunctional hand. He also saw notable improvement in hand strength and control with the SaeboGlove, a low-profile hand device recently patented by Saebo.

Functional MRI studies showed the reorganization of sensorimotor neurons in both sides of the patient’s brain more than two decades after his stroke, resulting in a noticeable recovery in both hemispheres and improved motor function. “The marked delayed recovery in our patient and the widespread recruitment of bilateral areas of the brain indicate the potential for much greater stroke recovery than is generally assumed,” the doctors reported. “Physiotherapy and new modalities in development might be indicated long after a stroke.”

“This article highlights what we have seen for the last 15 years with many of our clients,” states Saebo co-founder, Henry Hoffman. “Oftentimes, stroke survivors are told that they have plateaued and no further progress is possible. We believe it is not the client that has plateaued but failed treatment options have plateaued them. In other words, traditional therapy interventions that lack scientific evidence can be ineffective and can actually facilitate the plateau.”

“The SaeboFlex device is a life-changing treatment designed for clients that lack motor recovery and function,” Hoffman continues. “Whether the client recently suffered a stroke or decades later, they can immediately begin using their hand with this device and potentially make significant progress over time. I agree with the authors that the neurorehabilitation community needs to take a hard look at traditional beliefs with respect to the window of recovery following stroke. It is my hope that this article will spark more interest by researchers to investigate upper limb function with clients at the chronic stage using Saebo’s hand technology.”

The abstract and article in its entirety can be viewed at the Journal of Neurophysiology’s website, jn.physiology.org.

If you are suffering from limited hand function or have been told you have plateaued, then schedule a call with a Saebo Specialist or click here to get started on the road to recovery.

via SaeboFlex Helps Client Regain Hand Function 23 Years After Stroke | Saebo

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[WEB SITE] SaeboStep

Get Your FREE Stroke Recovery Exercise Guide! Download

Walk Smarter. Confidence and comfort are one step away.

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.

 Learn more about the features and benefits

 View brochure

Stylish. Safe. Sturdy.

Foot Drop. What is it and how does it affect your recovery?

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.

 Learn more about Foot Drop

Why use the SaeboStep?

Universal Eyelets

No Laces? No Problem.

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.

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