Posts Tagged saebo

[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

glory-saebo-glove

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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[BLOG POST] Tired After a Stroke? Understanding Post-Stroke Fatigue | Saebo

Feeling tired is a normal part of life. Whether you didn’t get a good night of sleep or wore yourself out with a busy day or an exerting activity, your body can only handle so much before you start to feel the physical effects of being tired. In cases like these, all you need to do is rest in order to feel re-charged and rejuvenated. But for individuals who have suffered from a stroke, it’s not that easy.

Fatigue after a stroke is common, and it’s different from simply feeling tired. Post-stroke fatigue can make somebody feel like they completely lack energy or strength, with a persistent feeling of being tired or weary. Unlike typical tiredness, a nap or sleeping longer at night won’t solve things. If you are experiencing post-stroke fatigue, it is important to consult with your doctor so you can take the proper steps to start feeling better and more energized.

 

What is Post-Stroke Fatigue?

Post-stroke fatigue can occur after a mild or severe stroke, and roughly 40 to 70 percent of stroke patients experience this “invisible symptom.” It’s a particularly frustrating side effect of a stroke because it can make you feel completely exhausted and off your game, which in turn makes recovering from the stroke seem even more difficult.

Those who experience post-stroke fatigue can feel like they are not in control of their recovery, as it’s hard for them to muster the energy to participate in their rehab activities or normal day-to-day functions. Many individuals with post-stroke fatigue initially confuse it with “being tired,” but post-stroke fatigue is not the same thing as just being tired. It can come out of nowhere, without warning, and rest isn’t always the solution.

Post-stroke fatigue is draining both physically and emotionally/mentally, and the severity of the stroke does not seem to correlate to the severity of the fatigue. Even a mild stroke can result in extreme post-stroke fatigue, and even if you suffered a stroke some time ago and feel as if you’ve made a full recovery, post-stroke fatigue can still impact you.

 

What Causes Post-Stroke Fatigue?

 

Experts aren’t entirely sure what causes post-stroke fatigue because there has been limited research on the subject.Medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease can play a role, as can any pre-existing fatigue issues an individual had before suffering from a stroke. In addition to fatigue, sleep apnea is another issue reported by stroke survivors, so it’s possible there is some sort of link between the two, though nothing has been proven.

Survivors often feel stressed or depressed about the stroke afterwards, from worrying about the recovery process to being concerned with their symptoms. Stress and the mental demands that come with it can lead to fatigue. There are a lot of unknowns about the cause of post-stress fatigue, but one thing is certain: a stroke takes a big toll on a person’s body, and many stroke survivors feel severe fatigue as a result.

 

How Do You Tell if You Have Post-Stroke Fatigue?

Remember that there’s a difference between feeling tired and having post-stroke fatigue. The latter will give you afeeling of complete exhaustion; you will lack all energy and feel extremely weary. You will probably feel like you have to rest every day, or even multiple times a day. This can make it difficult to accomplish things, whether it’s something as simple as spending time with family, running errands, or even attending your post-stroke therapy sessions.

Until you feel the type of exhaustion that comes with post-stroke fatigue it’s difficult to explain, so don’t feel frustrated if your friends and family don’t understand why you’re struggling. If you think you have post-stroke fatigue, don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor.

 

Tips to Increase Your Energy

The first step in combating post-stroke fatigue is to discuss it with your doctor. Let them know what you’ve been feeling. Your doctor will probably start the process by making sure you’ve had an up-to-date physical. With that information, your doctor can rule out other potential causes for your fatigue or determine if your fatigue might stem from your medication.

It goes without saying, but try to take naps if time allows. Naps won’t cure you of your fatigue long term, but resting when you feel run down can help you feel more refreshed, even if only for a short while.

Do your best to relax. Don’t let your post-stroke fatigue, or any other side effects of your stroke, get you down. Stay positive! Being stressed or tense will only sap you of more energy. A positive attitude goes a long way in feeling upbeat and energetic. Try to get back into the swing of things by returning to your pre-stroke routines. Simple things like staying active and involved with friends and family can yield big benefits.

Yes, it will seem overwhelming at times. Suffering from a stroke, dealing with the aftermath, and having no energy on top of it can be tough, but celebrate your successes. Take baby steps, and be proud of the progress you’ve made. Focus on what you’ve accomplished during your recovery so far, rather than dread what’s left to be done.

 

Tired of Being Tired

Post-stroke fatigue is a daunting condition, and many people who are recovering from a stroke might not even realize they have it, instead thinking they are simply tired. If you’ve had a stroke and find yourself feeling sapped of your energy on a consistent basis, talk to your doctor. There’s a chance you have post-stroke fatigue. You’re not alone; 40 to 70 percent of stroke survivors experience this kind of exhaustion.

By speaking with the proper medical professionals, making it a point to rest as often as possible, and having a positive mindset, you can combat the constant drowsiness and work on returning to your pre-stroke energy levels.

Source: Tired After a Stroke? Understanding Post-Stroke Fatigue | Saebo

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[BLOG POST] How to Prevent or Minimize the Plateau Phase After a Stroke – Saebo

The rehabilitation process throughout the first several months of stroke recovery can be confusing and often daunting, with peaks and valleys that either encourage or slow the healing process. Varying levels of paralysis are common, and adjusting to ongoing therapy requires a shift in mindset and a complete lifestyle overhaul.

Yet, some of the most significant improvements often occur during these early days, reflecting the initial plasticity of the brain. Therefore, gaining momentum during this neurologically progressive time is key to facing the often-frustrating period ahead—a stage known as a plateau. During this stage, it may feel as if the initial spike in progress was the end of successful rehabilitation and that no further improvement is possible. But for some, the plateauing phase is quite common and even to be expected, and understanding this will help both the patient and caregivers to avoid losing hope, motivation, and persistence during this difficult time.

Are plateaus real?

Over the past two decades, research has reaffirmed the frequency and common intricacies of plateauing in newer stroke patients. In the past, it was more likely for doctors to assume that patients only regained motor function in the first few months after a stroke, and that once the plateau occurred, ongoing exercises and therapy were ineffective.

However, recently published reports now show that patients can regain motor recovery and function up to 23 years after a stroke. Medical professionals are now finding that this complex recovery period often continues to occur for months and even years after a patient has left rehab—and primarily resumes only if patients and caretakers build a recovery planand have access to evidence-based technology to prevent the plateau phase after leaving traditional rehabilitation. Designing a home-exercise program, often by upgrading the previous inpatient therapeutic regimen, is the key to maintaining progress or restarting growth if the plateau phase has begun.

What causes a plateau?

When a stroke occurs, a specific area of the brain suffers an infarction, obstructing the blood supply and killing the functionality of a section of the brain. Though this specific area is not recoverable, the area directly surrounding the infarction-impacted region still holds potential for rehabilitation. In the moments directly after the stroke, however, the area simply does not work.

During the initial healing phase known as the subacute phase, which is usually the first three to six months after the stroke, the most consistent and encouraging signs of progress occur in these regions. This natural healing stage often takes place when patients are being coached along in rehab; but if the plateau stage occurs towards the end of  the natural healing phase, it’s common for patients to be sent home for a shift in care.

For this group of patients, this is a difficult transition for several reasons: familiar exercises must be altered and adjusted, the home routine requires greater adaptability, and patients face the discouragement of no longer seeing an uptick in progress, often deterring patients and caretakers from pushing on. Progressing through the discouragement is more easily accomplished when patients and caretakers understand the plateau stage. A solid plan of ongoing, managed care is necessary for continuing to bolster the still-developing parts of the mind.

It’s not the patients that have plateaued, rather treatment options have plateaued them.

It is important to keep in mind that traditional therapy that isn’t evidence-based can be ineffective and can actually causea plateau. Sometimes a patient’s recovery is only as good as the therapist, and if the therapist isn’t modifying the treatment to the patient’s specific needs and incorporating the latest proven interventions because they haven’t been trained or educated, the patient will most likely plateau. If the therapist is well educated on the latest advances and interventions in stroke recovery the patient has a much better chance of avoiding the plateau phase. So, a plateau phase may not be an absolute, it’s a possibility.

How can you overcome a plateau?

After reassuring research, the medical community confirms that working with a managed care professional with a series of ongoing exercises does promote improvement in a stroke patient’s long-term recovery. When signs of recovery seem to stall altogether, here are a few common practices for jumpstarting at-home care.

Saebo Rehabilitation Devices

The brain’s cortical plasticity is a key component in this stage of recovery, and Saebo offers several tools for employing this factor. Motor function and utilization of the hands can be continuously developed with the assistance of the SaeboGlove or SaeboFlex, easing therapy at home with minimal assistance and instruction. The SaeboFlex and SaeboGlove include a proprietary tension system that encourages the extension and grasping strength of the hands of healing stroke patients. This action simultaneously supports brain growth and reprogramming, encouraging the plasticity of the mind through task-oriented exercises.

If patients are unable to functionally use their affected hand, they will develop learned non-use and will eventually reach the plateau phase due to avoidance. The SaeboFlex and and SaeboGlove are two tools that may prevent or minimize the plateau phase and allow patients to engage their affected hand in functional tasks that would otherwise be impossible.

Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy

Similar to the SaeboGlove and SaeboFlex’s use of cortical plasticity, Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) encourages the regrowth of neurological pathways damaged during a stroke. This promotes more meticulous use of the affected hand. By keeping the functional hand from taking full responsibility for daily tasks—usually with a mitt—this method involves preference of the developing side of the brain. Though CIMT is an intensive process, which must be guided and supervised for several-hour stretches at a time, positive results may be seen for years to come.

At-Home Exercises

Maintaining a regimen of exercises that both meets the needs of ongoing recovery and the patient’s comfort is essential to progressing past the plateau stage after traditional rehab. The factor of neuroplasticity allows the brain to constantly adapt, but persistence and regularity is key. When followed correctly, an increase in motor function and strength is probable in many patients. Continuing physical exercise assists with many aspects of the healing process, supporting flexibility, coordination, and balance. Though physical activity does not prevent the occurrence of a second stroke, it will keep the body in key health for recovery.

Staying Motivated

During the difficult transition to home care, supportive family and medical professionals are the vital factor in helping patients maintain motivation and feel guided toward success. As a patient is just beginning the rehabilitation process, it is almost solely in the hands of the assistant to set the tone of the session, and this mutual understanding will drive the exercises forward, making it easier to set and meet small goals along the way. Roadblocks and frustrations are common, but with a structured and steady plan, these stages will pass and times of progress will return.

Handling Emotional Changes

When difficult emotions arise, it is crucial to realize that this is completely normal. Stroke recovery is a long, often slow process, and frustration, anger, and depression are understandable obstacles to encounter. Know that these feelings and physical plateaus will pass with time when both patients and caretakers allow themselves self-care and patience. It is also helpful for families to keep this in mind, as maintaining a genuinely flexible and positive atmosphere during rehabilitation will help all parties see these changes and efforts as a long-term process.

Keep Moving Forward

When heading into long-term stroke treatment, awareness of evidence-based treatment interventions may prevent or decrease the plateauing stage. But with consistent at-home tools and exercises, progress will return, even if it feels slower than in previous phases. The recently damaged brain is taking the necessary time to heal and regrow, and this requires setting short-term goals and celebrating small victories. Reaching the plateau stage is an opportunity to reconsider the next best way forward with your therapist—progress is still ahead, even if the methods and system require a new outlook.

Source: How to Prevent or Minimize the Plateau Phase After a Stroke | Saebo

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[WEB SITE] Hocoma and Saebo Partner to Deliver Compact, Affordable Rehabilitation Solution for Upper Extremities

ArmeoSenso with SaeboMas Mini Body Weight Support System (Photo: Business Wire).

July 17, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

ZURICH & CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hocoma and Saebo today announced a partnership to improve the training possibilities for patients with moderate to mild impairments of the upper extremities. Together, the SaeboMas Mini and the ArmeoSenso deliver an easy-to-use, compact solution at an affordable price.

“Saebo is committed to helping patients around the globe achieve a new level of independence”

“Saebo is committed to helping patients around the globe achieve a new level of independence,” said Henry Hoffman, co-founder of Saebo. “Together with an industry leader such as Hocoma, we believe we can maximize the potential of our affordable and evidence-based solutions.”

“We are very excited to be working with Saebo,” said Hocoma CEO and co-founder Dr. Gery Colombo. “Neurological disorders afflict thousands of people each year and by teaming up with another leading player in the industry, we expect to be able to help even more patients recover faster and with better long-term outcomes than conventional rehabilitation therapy can offer.”

In the future, Saebo and Hocoma plan to deepen their partnership. Further solutions are expected to be optimized so that they complement each other as perfectly as the SaeboMas Mini and the ArmeoSenso. Dr. Gery Colombo added: “Our ultimate goal is to provide all patients with a compact, affordable rehabilitation solution – regardless of the specific body parts affected by neurological damage.”

The new partnership can be experienced live at Rehabweek in London from July 17-21.

About Hocoma

A successful therapy begins in patients’ heads. In the firm belief that – step by step – they can reach their goals and regain quality of life.

This is what we work for at the Swiss medtech company Hocoma. With technologies and ideas that look at functional movement therapy from a completely different angle. Because they enable independent exercises and create maximum motivation. Because they challenge people to take courage and support their hopes with personal achievements.

We are committed to creating the ideal therapy. Our awarded robotic and sensor-based devices offer solutions for intensive gait therapy (Lokomat®, Andago®), functional therapy of the upper extremities (Armeo®), robotic mobilization and functional electrical stimulation in early rehabilitation (Erigo®) as well as functional movement therapy within low back pain treatment (Valedo® Therapy Concept) at home and at the clinic. They are the result of intensive research, consistent development and continuous exchange with patients, therapists and partners in research and science.

Those who see to break new grounds need to stay open to exceptional ideas. They have the potential of being exceptionally effective. This guiding principle by Hocoma founder and CEO Dr. Gery Colombo has accompanied us since our start in 2000 and is still lived and implemented by our dedicated employees around the world. At the headquarters in Volketswil near Zurich (Switzerland) and the subsidiaries in the USA, Singapore and Slovenia they achieved a turnover of 30 million CHF in 2016.

About Saebo

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 250,000 clients around the globe achieve a new level of independence.

For more information about Saebo, please visit: www.saebo.com.

Product Disclaimer

All Hocoma products are medical devices and must be used in strict adherence to the User Manual; failure to do so may result in serious personal injury. It is strongly recommended that you regularly consult Hocoma’s website (www.hocoma.com/legalnotes) for the latest available information. Please contact Hocoma in case of any questions.

Use only under the supervision of qualified medical personnel. However, certain Hocoma products are marketed for home use and must be strictly used according to the recommendations of your medical care provider who is knowledgeable about your specific needs. Consult the User Manual and Hocoma’s website (www.hocoma.com/legalnotes) for appropriate product designation. Failure to obtain and follow the recommendations of your medical care provider may result in serious personal injury.

This information provides details about medical products which may not be available in all countries and may not have received approval or market clearance by all governmental regulatory bodies throughout the world. Nothing herein should be construed as a solicitation or promotion of any product or of an indication of any specific use for any product which is not authorized by the laws and regulations of the country where the reader of this information resides.

Contacts

Hocoma AG
Mike Fuhrmann, +41 43 444 23 65
Chief Creative Officer
media@hocoma.com
Fax: +41 43 444 22 01
www.hocoma.com

Source: Hocoma and Saebo Partner to Deliver Compact, Affordable Rehabilitation Solution for Upper Extremities | Business Wire

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