NEOFECT rehabilitation devices provide intensity and repetition of specific motor movements for neuroplasticity, maintaining range of motion, and increasing strength and endurance; which are part of the rehab process for many conditions. NEOFECT’s rehabilitation devices are good tools for people who have had a stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, burns, brachial plexus injuries, and some orthopedic injuries. Each device targets different movements and will help develop functional skills in different ways. It’s not one size fits all, so how do you know what device is right for you?
The NEOFECT Smartboard targets the muscles of the shoulder and elbow and can be a good option to gain mobility and strength in the shoulder. It’s set up in a gravity eliminated plane, which allows a person who is only able to shrug their shoulders or push a towel across a table able to use it.
Good candidates for the Smartboard:
- People who have had a stroke and present with a stiff hemiplegic shoulder or need to build strength in the shoulder or elbow
- People with spinal cord injury at C4-C7 level
- People who have had a brachial plexus injury
- People who have multiple sclerosis where movement of the shoulder or elbow have been impacted
- People who have had burns near the shoulder or elbow
- Orthopedic conditions that benefit from intense repetition of the shoulder and elbow
The NEOFECT Smartglove targets the muscles of the forearm, wrist, and fingers.
Intensive repetitions with the Smartglove are good for:
- People with stroke who are working to create neuroplasticity and improve movement of the forearm, wrist, and fingers
- People who have had a spinal cord injury at the C6-C8 and are using intensive repetition for strengthening
- People who have had burns to the forearm and hand who need to maintain the range of motion and elasticity of the skin
- People who have multiple sclerosis where movement of the forearm, wrist, and fingers have been impacted
- Orthopedic injuries that benefit from intense repetition of the wrist and fingers
The Smartboard and Smartglove are not appropriate for conditions that become exasperated through repetitive movements, such as repetitive stress injury or during an arthritis flare up.
The Smart Pegboard works on dexterity, timing, and fine motor coordination. If you have really good movement of your hand, but struggle with fine motor skills the Pegboard is a great option for you. But don’t forget that the key to hand use is in the bigger muscles first, and the Smartglove might also be beneficial to build strength in the wrist and forearm, which will allow you to use your fingers better.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS BY DIAGNOSIS
Intensive, repetitive movements are essential for neuroplasticity. You can read more about the specifics about choosing a device after a stroke here.
SPINAL CORD INJURY
People who have had a C6/C7 spinal cord injury and are working on their tenodesis grasp are particularly good candidates for the Smartglove. Tenodesis facilitates a passive closing of the fingers by actively extending the hand, which allows a person to utilize a gross grasp for increased independence in many daily activities.
Tenodesis requires strength of the wrist extensors. Strengthening a muscle happens with activating the muscle to the point of fatigue. The Smartglove provides intense repetitions of wrist extensors and builds strength.
Spasticity is the over-excitability of a muscle. In many conditions of the central nervous system, the message from the brain to the muscle is interrupted and the muscle is unable to relax.
One way to manage spasticity is to compensate for it with strength. Strengthening can improve spasticity by strengthening the antagonist (opposing) muscle and strengthening the spastic muscle.
The Smartboard can help strengthen the muscles of the shoulder and elbow. The Smartglove can help strengthen the muscles of the forearm, wrist, and fingers to limit the impact of spasticity.
People with multiple sclerosis benefit from daily exercise to increase endurance and strength. Intensive repetitions also help develop plasticity which can limit the clinical impact of the damage to the myelin sheath, by adaptively reorganizing patterns of motor performance.
Stretching and strengthening are important factors when completing home exercises after a burn injury. The skin becomes tight after a burn injury and needs to be moisturized and stretched or the joints will become tight and range of motion will be limited.
Depending on where you’re at in your rehabilitation for an orthopedic injury, intensive repetitions may or may not be the right option for you. Often orthopedic injuries require a period of rest to the affected joint. But if you’re ready to work on strengthening and maintaining range of motion, the Smartboard or Smartglove is a fun and motivating way to be consistent and successful with your home exercise program.
BRACHIAL PLEXUS INJURIES
A common strategy for home exercises post brachial plexus injury is to complete strengthening in a gravity eliminated plane to better support the joint as muscle strength improves. People who have had a brachial plexus injury can develop overuse injuries by using smaller muscles to compensate for the weakness of the affected muscles. The Smartboard and the Smartglove are great options to isolate muscles for strengthening.
Still not sure? NEOFECT occupational therapists are available for consultation to maximize your rehabilitation and find what works best for you!
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