Splinting the Hand to Enhance Motor Control and Brain PlasticityBy Pitts, Donald Greg; O'Brien, Shirley Peganoff; Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 456-467
Publication Date: September-October 2008
Article discusses the use of splints to enhance functional outcomes and affect plasticity of the brain in post-stroke patients. Splints can be used to apply appropriate safe stress to stiff joints and tight muscles that will promote prevention of contracture and restoration of function, maximizing outcomes and restoring functional length of stress-deprived connective tissue. Advantages to splinting discussed include stimulation of brain function by maximizing the functional length of both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles and by maintaining appropriate joint structure function, and prevention of joint deformity and peripheral tightness of the extrinsic flexors. Application of splints should be based upon clinical evaluation and long-term treatment goals. In the acute stroke patient, the immediate goals should be to diminish adaptive muscle shortening, reduce and prevent edema, and protect the joint system. This is normally realized through custom-made, forearm-based safe-position splints using materials that have good memory and durability, such as Orthoplast. Splinting for patients with high tone, or spasticity, and low tone is described. A safe-position splint such as the SaeboStretch, worn at night, is described for low tone patients. A static progressive system, such as the SaeboFlex, addresses the negative effects of high tone.
Assistive Products Discussed: SAEBOFLEX
Published by: Thomas Land Publishers, Inc. (Website:http://www.thomasland.com)
National Stroke Association (Web Site: http://www.stroke.org )
Link to text: http://thomasland.metapress.com/content/l461ru60t4474533/
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J55541