After an event such as a stroke, spinal cord injury, or brain injury, arm and hand function can become impaired. There are many tools available for therapists to use in order to help their clients improve function. One of the tools we use at Aim2Walk is the ArmeoSpring.
The ArmeoSpring is a device with a spring loaded arm that uses the available arm function of the user to improve the neuromuscular control of the affected shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. The exoskeleton arm counterbalances the weight of the user’s arm to enhance function and control. Movement needs to be initiated by the user, which will help improve both physical and cognitive recovery. The user performs task-specific functions through a variety of games on the 3D workspace. Some of the functions the games focus on are shoulder range of motion through reaching and retrieving, flexion and extension of the elbow, pronation and supination of the forearm, flicking of the wrist, and gripping. The ArmeoSpring also provides assessment tools to monitor progress in motor ability and coordination. There are built in sensors which record the user’s movement at the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand during each session.
One of our clients, Mike, uses the ArmeoSpring approximately four times a week during his sessions. Mike suffered a stroke as a complication from surgery two years ago, which in turn resulted in a spinal cord injury and reduced function in his left arm and hand. Back in Mike’s glory days he was an avid duck hunter, so naturally one of his favourite games on the ArmeoSpring is the chicken shooting game, and he has been consistently setting and beating his own records. He was kind enough to help us demonstrate a few of the task-specific games the ArmeoSpring offers in the video below.
Lindsay is a student intern at Aim2Walk and she is our guest writer today. She studies Exercise Science and Lifestyle Management at Humber College. Thank you Lindsay for your time at the clinic and for sharing your knowledge of the ArmeoSpring. Best of luck in your future!