Guide to Treating Clenched Fists

Henry Hoffman
Wednesday, August 31st, 2022
Last modified on September 28th, 2022


After a stroke, it is common to experience stiff hands. For some survivors, the hands curl inward, and it may seem nearly impossible to open them. Fortunately, there are ways to relax clenched fists.

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Is Robotic Therapy Overrated?

Henry Hoffman
Friday, June 24th, 2022
Last modified on June 29th, 2022


Robot-assisted therapy has become increasingly popular over the last two decades.

In fact, it is so well-known that out of the 1,300 RCT’s in UE stroke recovery, robotic research leads the pack with 112 RCT’s!

There is no doubt robotic therapy, in some form or fashion, is here to stay. However is it a must-have or a nice-to-have intervention?

Spoiler Alert: looking at the latest research, the jury is still out.

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Think You Know How Many Reps It Takes to Achieve Neuroplasticity?

Henry Hoffman
Wednesday, May 11th, 2022
Last modified on August 25th, 2022


The damage inflicted by a stroke is unique to every patient, and so is the recovery process. It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The brain consists of 100 billion neurons and 200 trillion synapses. It’s nearly impossible to grasp the complexity and power of this amazing organ!

During a stroke, 32,000 neurons die every second, totaling around 1.2 billion for the entire event. That’s a lot, but consider the total neurons in the brain, it’s around one percent. That means 99 percent of the brain is still intact!

A variety of exercises and movements can be used to provide cues to the brain. Thanks to pioneers like Dr. Merzenich (https://lnkd.in/dR9zGCmx) , who conducted landmark studies in the 1980’s that confirmed the adult brain is not hard-wired, practitioners have an opportunity to “rewire the brain”.

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Neurotherapists: Stop shouldering the blame. It’s time to rethink electrode placement for treating subluxation.

Henry Hoffman
Thursday, April 28th, 2022


Shoulder subluxation, defined as a partial or incomplete dislocation that usually stems from changes in the mechanical integrity of the joint (muscles, tendons, ligaments) is a common issue with hemiplegic stroke survivors. There are several protocols for treating subluxation, such as electrical stimulation, but it’s often done improperly due to misconceptions about what’s considered “standard practice.” 

Studies suggest that the supraspinatus and posterior deltoid muscles are the primary muscles to target when using electrical stimulation. Contrary to popular belief, this may not be the case. This blog aims to revisit what we already know about subluxation and proximal migration and challenge traditional beliefs many of us have embraced throughout our careers. 

Let’s dive into when to use electrical stimulation and what the optimal muscles are for targeting. 

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Best Stroke Hand Recovery Exercises Using Pens

Henry Hoffman
Tuesday, March 29th, 2022
Last modified on September 6th, 2022


Strokes can be one of the leading causes of serious long-term disability. A stroke can lead to a reduction in mobility in more than half of stroke survivors from the age of 65 and older. Loss in hand function, strength, and dexterity can result from a stroke. These conditions and impairments are determined by the location and severity of the stroke. Today, there are many ways to regain hand function after a stroke or neurological injury.

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Foot Drop Treatment Using a Resistance Band

Henry Hoffman
Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
Last modified on September 6th, 2022


Want a quick fix to your foot drop problem?  This blog will share two techniques for helping lift your foot without using an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO).  These techniques are temporary and not meant as a long-term solution but are effective if done correctly. Please consult your physician or medical professional. They might have a better solution for you, like the SaeboStep.

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5 Easy Tests for Foot Drop

Henry Hoffman
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021
Last modified on September 6th, 2022


5 Easy Test for Foot Drop

Think you suffer from foot drop after a stroke or neurological injury? In this post, we will cover five easy tests to identify foot drop. Foot drop is a common symptom of many neurological and orthopedic issues affecting the lower leg. Most commonly, the peroneal nerve is the affected culprit, causing the lack of ability to lift the foot or toes off the ground. This could lead to a person dragging their foot as they walk, increase the risk of tripping or falling while walking, or cause the person to alter their steppage gait. 

The following tests are simple tests that clinicians use to determine if foot drop, also known as drop foot, exists and if specialized tests by physicians are required for further analysis or diagnosis. These tests are easiest with an observer but can be performed alone by setting up a recording device with sound. In addition, click on the video below if you’d like to watch these tests in action. 

Test #1 – Drag or Slap Test (Visual Observation)

To begin, the first test is the drag or slap test. This test requires an observer, or the test subject, to visually observe the way someone walks. This test has the viewer looking for the common symptoms of foot drop – a dragging foot or a foot that slaps the ground when walking. To test this, have the subject walk approximately 10 to 15 feet. Look for the foot to drag or for the foot to slap the ground when they take a step. Repeat if necessary. In addition, look for altered gait as well as balance deficits.

Test #2 –  Heel Walk Test

Next, the second test is the heel walk test. For this test, have the subject attempt to walk on their heels for approximately 10 to 15 feet. For safety purposes, have the subject hold onto a countertop or use a device like a cane for balance and stability. Look for the subject to have trouble initiating the test, or they will be unable to keep their affected foot in the air the entire time. Do not attempt to test if your subject’s balance is poor. A variation is standing at a counter on their heels and trying to hold toes off the ground. Look for the affected foot to not come off the ground or go back to the ground slowly.

Test #3 – Manual Muscle Test

The third test is the manual muscle test. This test is called a manual muscle (strength) test or MMT. This test can be performed with a clinician assisting you or can be alone. However, you may also find that using the handle of a cane can help you complete this test if you cannot reach your toes, have an altered sitting balance, or are alone. 

To perform this test, you will need to sit in a chair with your affected leg stretched out in front of you. Start by trying to lift your toes and foot off the ground. If you can lift the foot off the ground – assist the foot through its full range of motion, bringing the toes up towards the shin. Try to hold it there. If not performed successfully, this is a positive sign for foot drop. If you can hold the foot in that position, apply pressure on the top of the foot, checking to see if the foot needs moderate or less to break the holding position. In other words, this is a sign of weakness. 

Test #4 – Step Up and Down Test

The fourth test is the step up and down test. This test requires good safety awareness and balance. The test should not be performed if the subject has poor balance or a high chance of falling. Please complete this test with a clinician or therapist. First, have the subject stand in front of a set of steps, holding on to the railing for support. Second, have them slowly step up and down a few times. After that, when they feel confident with this motion, increase the speed of stepping up and down. Look for the foot to drag or for the subject not clear the first step with their toes.

Test #5 – Jump Test

Finally, the last test is the jump test. This test requires good safety awareness and balance. This test should not be performed if the subject has poor balance or a high chance of falling. Please do not complete this test on your own. Complete the test with a therapist or clinician. To begin, while holding onto a counter for support, ask the subject to jump off the ground. Make sure to encourage getting off the ground. Therefore, if the subject is unable to perform this, that is a positive sign for foot drop.

Get Back on Your Feet

The video in this post is part of a series of foot drop videos on our YouTube Channel.  Here at Saebo, we offer an innovative foot drop solution, the SaeboStep. The SaeboStep consists of a lightweight and comfortable foot drop brace that provides 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. Don’t forget about all the free resources we offer on saebo.com.


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 providers 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.

Foot Drop Recovery: Definition, Causes, & Recovery Solutions

Henry Hoffman
Monday, August 16th, 2021
Last modified on September 28th, 2022


Foot drop, also known as 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). It can be a temporary or permanent situation, so address this as soon as you see any signs. Foot drop is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying muscular, neurological, or anatomical disorder. This blog will educate you on what foot drop is, common reasons that it occurs, and also possible treatment options.

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How to Treat Foot Drop with Electrical Stimulation

Henry Hoffman
Thursday, August 20th, 2020
Last modified on September 6th, 2022


foot drop treatment with estim

What is Foot Drop?

Foot drop, also known as dropped foot or drop foot, is the inability to raise the front part of the foot up toward the shin. This happens due to weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot (National Institute of Neurological Disorders). Patients who suffer from foot drop often scuff their toes along the ground; they may also bend their knees to lift their foot higher than usual or swing their leg out to the side to avoid hitting their toes on the ground. Electrical stimulation has been proven to help patients manage symptoms associated with foot drop.

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A Guide to Electrical Stimulation Therapy for Stroke Patients

Henry Hoffman
Thursday, July 16th, 2020
Last modified on September 8th, 2022


In simple terms, electrical stimulation is the sending of electrical impulses to generate a muscle contraction. This is usually done via surface electrodes stuck to the skin over the target area. The muscle contraction may be very small to help with pain or sensation, or it may be large enough to produce a visible movement at a joint.

Following a stroke or other neurological injury, you may be left with muscle weakness or complete loss of movement (sometimes called hemiplegia). You may also experience a sudden inability to perform everyday tasks, sensory loss, pain, or a combination of these symptoms.

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