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Learn about a treatment option for adult upper limb spasticity. Learn More

I have been an Occupational Therapist for 3 1/2 years, working in an outpatient clinic. I have had the opportunity to work with many patients who have experienced a stroke but regardless of intervention strategies I tried, I have always been unsatisfied with the progress we have made by the time the patient is discharged (usually based off of insurance limitations from hitting a level of plateaued progress).

The patient that inspired me to become Saebo certified came to me after experiencing a stroke in his cerebellum. I found myself digging up research on all of the interventions I had used in the past and trying out new angles to hopefully enhance his recovery passed where I had been able to get my patients in the past. He happened to have an extraordinary insurance company that allowed him to work through a few plateaus. At one point the patient was saying how he was "tired of therapy" as he had been coming consistently for over half a year. I looked into every possible avenue over the next few days and that is when I happened to stumble upon the SaeboFlex., which seemed like a perfect option for my patient. At his next visit, I showed him a few videos of the SaeboFlex in use and presented the research to him regarding what we could accomplish if I were to get the certification and he was to stay in therapy.

When you give a patient hope that there is a possibility they are going to improve beyond where they expected to improve, they will always take it. So - after showing him what was possible, I knew I had to get the certification.
My favorite Saebo moment was in my first session using the SaeboFlex. I was working with a patient who had not found the ability to extend his fingers but was able to close them quite proficiently. He had been willing to try the SaeboFlex but was not sold that it would be an actual solution for the plateau of finger extension. We had been working with the orthotic for about 25 minutes and the patient was beginning to feel fatigued and asked if we could be done for the day. I took the brace off and asked if he would be willing to try one more task with me. I asked if he could do the same thing I had been having him do with the brace on, now with the brace off. The patient looked up at me as if I was crazy and said, "You know I can't do this." I prodded him to just try it. He reluctantly did. I helped him position the ball in his hand so that he could grip it and asked him to move it to a low crate and release the ball. He was able to do it not just one time but 12 times and had a smile that grew across his face with each one!
It was amazing to see just how well the SaeboFlex was able to work for my patient. Having such immediate results convinced him that it was important for him to keep coming in for therapy and working with the device regularly. He actually said, "I can't wait to see what I will be able to do after I can wear it for 45 minutes!" Just to see him finally smile again and open his hand was truly amazing.
Alyssa Villarreal
Whether you are a caregiver, occupational therapist or even a stroke survivor yourself, Saebo  provides stroke survivors young or old access to transformative and life changing products. We pride ourselves on providing affordable, easily accessible, and cutting-edge solutions to people suffering from impaired mobility and function. We have several products to help with the stroke recovery and rehabilitation process.  From the SaeboFlex, which allows clients to incorporate their hand functionally in therapy or at home, to the SaeboMAS, an unweighting device used to assist the arm during daily living tasks and exercise training, we are commitment to helping create innovative products for stroke recovery.  Check out all of our product offerings or let us help you find which product is right for you.

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.

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