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Therapy First therapists use evidence based techniques in their stroke rehabilitation practice. Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) principles that stimulate brain relearning are incorporated as early as possible in therapy to maximize upper extremity recovery. For those that do not yet meet the criteria for CIMT training, therapists may assess for suitability for a Saebo orthosis. Saebo orthoses and treatment programs are based on the same motor relearning theories as CIMT, which tap into the brain's remarkable ability to "reprogram itself" following brain damage from a stroke or brain injury. Saebo training programs involve highly repetitive/mass practice activities which, like CIMT programs, help the brain to relearn. Saebo allows those with very little arm and hand function to begin grasp and release activities, creating new pathways in the brain. Saebo allows clients to start incorporating their affected arms into daily activities. Recent research has shown improvements in arm range of motion, strength, spasticity and pain following Saebo use in an individualized treatment program.

Saebo orthoses have also been used successfully with clients (as young as four years of age) with other neurological conditions such as incomplete spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Guillain Barre Syndrome. Saebo orthoses have been used successfully with those in the early phase of their rehabilitation as well as with those many years after their stroke or brain injury.

SaeboFlex orthoses preposition the hand and wrist in a functional position for grasp and release. Once properly fitted, it is recommended that clients use their orthoses daily in individualized home therapy programs that are set up by a trained Saebo therapist.

Saebo has also developed a dynamic resting hand splint that places the long finger flexor muscles in a lengthened position. The SaeboStretch orthoses have a dynamic hand piece that comes in three varying grades of resistance to better match individual needs. The SaeboStretch helps prevent joint damage while improving and maintaining range of motion. The SaeboStretch orthoses are appropriate for clients with minimal to moderate tone and soft tissue shortening. Therapy First therapists can screen clients to see if they would benefit from the SaeboStretch and also develop an individualized wearing schedule.

Clients are required to have some minimal arm movement to use the SaeboFlex and SaeboReach orthoses. Please contact Therapy First if you would like further information about Saebo or to arrange for a screening session to determine if you are a candidate for a Saebo orthosis. SaeboFlex, SaeboReach and SaeboStretch orthoses are now funded by Manitoba Health. Therapy First therapists work closely with trained Orthotists to arrange for proper measuring, ordering and fitting of the orthoses. Therapy First can select the correct Saebo orthosis for you and develop an individualized home program.

Saebo orthoses and treatment programs are used in several countries and at many leading stroke treatment centres throughout the United States. Please visit www.saebo.com for more information.

For more information or to book an appointment contact us by phone at 204-612-0399 or by email at ot@therapyfirst.ca