I had a pediatric stroke at age 4 in 1964. I went to a therapist for rehabilitation this year and was told my paralyzed hand was at the moderate level. I started to sew with my paralyzed hand. I decided to try to the NeuroMove machine NM 900 to see if I could get movement back.
From the moment I put on the machine I tried to bend my wrist up and was successful. I started to sew using the machine. I can open my fingers with a verbal command after 39 and a half years. My muscles are building up and my fingers are straighter. After several months of using the NeuroMove, I can open and close my hand much easier and faster. I can hold a jar in my left hand. I can put my left hand on the tractor when I cut the lawn going straight only, not turning. The spasms are half compared to when my hand was severe. I am glad this machine was invented. It’s like I have another hand, now that my hand has more movement.
Here is a history of my recovery from my stroke.
My stroke was on January 21, 1985. I was actually in the hospital when I had it. I had physical and occupational therapy in he hospital for about 3 weeks. I was transferred to Dodd hall (a rehab facility part of Ohio State University hospital). I was told when I was transferred that I “might walk but would never use my arm”.
After 6 weeks in Dodd hall, I walked out without assistance upon discharge. At that point, I could close my left hand but I was not able to open it.
I have had as many as 4 patients therapy series’ since leaving Dodd, all to help me fully use my left hand. None of these therapy series were able to help with any significant functional use.
I found the AutoMove 800 while surfing on the Internet for stroke recovery ideas and support groups around the first of July 1999. I finally received my unit on the Monday after Thanksgiving of 1999, There were 3 appeals and 1 insurance hearing before my insurance approved the unit for my use. I was able to try out the unit on the way and returning from the insurance hearing early in November 1999. After two 20-30 minute sessions, there was a noticeable difference in both color and temperature.
After about a week of using the unit up to four times per day, I was able to start using building blocks a therapy tool. I could pick them up and move them putting them down in a different location.
As I continued using the blocks in addition to the AM 800 my state of mind improved as rapidly as my hand and arm was. I have been treated successfully for depression (taking taking Zoloft for about 6-8 months in 96 or 97). The improvements I was seeing from the AutoMove seemed to help me more than the Zoloft. I was actually experiencing trouble sleeping as I was getting up several times a night to work on the therapy.
In Mid December of 1999 I started using a child’s toy that stacked blocks on pegs and was able to use the comfortably by Christmas of 1999. Again, this exercise was being done while still using the AM 800 3-4 times per day.
I am still using the AM as 800 frequently as ever and I am now able to pick up and release objects as small as a raisin and small marbles. I am now able to use my hand and arm n functional exercises and uses for about 75% of what I do.
I have had more recovery in the past 4 months or so using the AM 800 then I had in the previous 15 years of traditional therapy (including a Tens unit).
Dr. Charles R. Shields, North Carolina Rehabilitation
During the present transition phase of health care in our nation, physicians, such as myself, are looking for ways to continue to give high quality rehabilitation in an efficient, yet less costly way.
Back in 1998, I was pleased to read about further work with EMG triggered neuromuscular stimulation (1). For the past two decades this combination of biofeedback and stimulation has intrigued the rehabilitation industry. Yet it has had its numbers of problems including: Clumsy, user – nonfriendly, equipment; painful stimulation; and the need for a well trained physician therapist to use the equipment correctly each time with the patient.
Recently, a layperson – friendly all-in-one device for such therapy has come onto the market, I have used this device with some patients. My patient selection is based in responses to my usual evaluation of muscle activity with my EMG equipment. Every selected patient has had near normal sensation and minimal to moderate spasticity. A few patients had no significant changes with this device and therefore not rented. The best results have been seen with middle aged gentlemen who suffered a left hemorrhagic CVA for years ago leaving his dominant RUE with only flexion synergy without functional grasp.
He has a good home team support and has been able to use this device with their help. Because of private insurance and family money, he has had PT and OT 75% of the time over the past four years. In spite of good therapy, no functional carry over changes was occurring with the RUE. After four months of use of this machine he is now feeding himself with RUE and can bring his RUE over his head. He is doing some pre-writing work now with RUE. OT was stopped when he got the machine and PT was stopped a bit earlier. We are now starting to use the machine for volitional dorsiflexion of right ankle overriding extension synergy with hopeful results.
This machine is the AM 800. It is incredibly user friendly. It lacks the “bells and whistles” I don’t really need and it doesn’t hurt like electrical stimulation does. Every patient I’ve used it on, either home bound or nursing home, has tolerated the stimulation with limb movement levels overriding antagonist spasticity.
This is a unique machine with several breakthroughs. It is devices like this one, along with more aggressive patient and family training, which allow patients to be treated home or in nursing homes more frequently, like a rehab hospital but, with less licensed personal involvement. Time will tell how far we can go with such changes in the way we offer rehabilitation. I belive this machine is a good step in the right direction.
He is doing so well; Talking much better, Thinking more clearly, using his right hand so much better. (I even put a piece of toast in his right hand the other day, and just had to help him hold it still a little while he took bites. He was a little tired afterwards… it’s a strain to work that hard!) My dad is doing so much better, I’ve been thinking of using the AutoMove in combination with little restraint therapy (restraining the left arm forcing him to use the right arm). He seems to get tired from the ‘brain strain’; having to think so hard to get the movement. I’ve been holding out on the restraint therapy because of that, but I do know that he can move his right arm/hand so much more than when we first started this!
It’s such a long process, but this has helped me so much. In fact, before the therapy I really didn’t see how he would ever get to the point, mentally, or physically, of living semi-independently. Now, I think that may really be a possibility, even though it may be many more months.
Thanks So Much!
I went to work today and everyone was surprised at how I could open my hand. I worked on my hand extension then I worked on my hand flexion that all took bout 45 minutes. Then I worked on my ankle and put it where I thought my muscles were for my toes and I worked with them about 20 minutes. Talk to you on Monday. I will be doing it again on Saturday. Thank you very much I love this little machine…
Palm Springs Stroke Activity Center gets unique NeuroMove physical therapy equipment. SAC Newsletter, Volume 25, Issue 25, Mar-Apr 2003.
Thanks to a grant from Desert Classic Charities Inc. the Stroke Center was able to get a unique piece of physical therapy equipment called NeuroMove900. This unit combines beneficial effects of both biofeedback and muscle stimulation in assisting the patient to regain a measure of control of affected limbs after a stroke.
The NeuroMove uses the patient’s powers of concentration and imagination to help relearn muscle movements that have been lost. The unit uses 3 sensors that detect electrical signals sent from the brain to nerves inside the muscle. This electrical activity registers on the unit’s display screen. The less activity there is in a muscle, the harder it is to move that muscle. Increasing the electrical activity requires reteaching the brain to send messages to the affected muscle. This is where imagination and concentration help out. By simply thinking about moving a muscle, a person raises the electrical activity present in that muscle. The computer inside the NeuroMove evaluates the amount of activity present in the muscle, then sets a higher standard that the patient should try to reach as he or she concentrates. If the patient reaches this mark (threshold) he or she is rewarded with an electrical impulse the muscle move for a few seconds. Success is measured in the actual movement of a hand, arm, etc. and gives the patient greater control over his/her extremity.
Robyn has been attending physical therapy at the Stroke Center since February 2002 and first arrived wearing a cumbersome arm sling to prevent subluxation (partial dislocation) of her shoulder. Her goal was to improve the function of her right arm. After working hard for the past year-and-a-half, Robyn is now able to lift her arm over her head, flex and extend her elbow, and pick up objects. She can even write her name again. She started on the NeuroMove only a few weeks ago for wrist and finger extension and can lift her hand with ease. Several other stroke clients using the NeuroMove have also shown progress in a short amount of time. We are very excited about this piece of equipment and confident that it will greatly increase our client’s chances to gain functional mobility in their arms and legs.
We are very greatful to everyone at Desert Classic Charities Inc (dba Bob Hope Chrysler Classic) for making it possible for our clients to have such a state-of-the art rehabilitation device.
W. Curtis Small MD FAAFP
I want to thank you for working with FEDEX/Olsten Networking Management on behalf of my patient/your insured/their employee Corey Lingel. Let me refresh your memory. Corey is a 27 year old package handler for FEDEX who suffered a stroke when he was 1 year old and who has lived all of his life since with left sided hemiplegia. His left arm was very spastic and had assumed a typical posturing of being drawn up against his abdomen andchest, with elbow, wrist flexion, and finger flexion contractures. His forearm would have spasms at unpredictable times as well.
Notice that I used the past tense to describe the appearance of his left arm. I requested that he have AutoMove therapy be made available to him after reading about this stroke rehabilitation technique. FEDEX agreed that it would be part of the health coverage and he has now worked with the AutoMove electronic unit under tutelage of the inventor. I am delightfully flabbergasted at the change.
Upon examining him today, his condition is tremendously improved. I have been taught over the years of working with patients with strokes to accept his original condition as the way he would always remain-having a useless arm, also being ambulatory with a limp. Today his posture at rest showed his wrist in a neutral position, not the tight flexion contracture he has had. He was able to extent his fingers! He was able to voluntarily flex and extent his wrist, he was able to slowly abduct his thumb. He was able to slowly supinate and pronate his hand! He reported to me that he was able to carry a water jug in his hand, he was able to grasp and open the door to his truck. He was able to grasp the steering wheel of his fork lift with his left hand now and pull himself up into the seat!
This AutoMove therapy should be continued to improve his motor control of his hand. He still has difficulty in slow conscious control of his fingers and they do not operate in the same way as a normal extension (hand musculature will need to be worked on, and his wrist tendon contractures will slowly lengthen further to help too). He has not yet started to work on his leg muscles, either. However, with the enormous amount of progress I have seen in just 2 months of daily 20-30 min therapy, I think that these are realistic goals, not a fantasy.
I felt that you needed to know that you have not spent money on an useless medical device which had been someone’s pet idea that didn’t live up to it promise. I have seen real, lifestyle altering progress that has already improved abilities to earn a living and go much farther that what we would have expected of his life. This AutoMove therapy is worthwhile.
This therapy should be offered to anyone who has spastic hemiplegia s/p stroke. I have witnessed a breakthrough of enormous proportion with the use of this device.
I am a 50 year old stroke survivor who suffers from left-sided hemi- paralysis due to a stoke I experienced in 1995.
I have received both conventional Physical and Occupational therapies, administered by professional therapists, on and off from October, 1995 thru August, 2002 in attempts to relieve me of the disabilities brought on by the paralysis. While these therapies have certainly helped me, in the sense of teaching me ways to do things differently, such as dress myself, and other Daily Living Activities, they have proved fruitless in restoring any of the normal motion abilities possessed by healthy, non-paralyzed people.
My intent for this letter is to use it as a self-evaluation report on the benefits I have obtained from the use of the Auto-Move 800 machine in efforts to restore the normal motion abilities enjoyed by healthy, non-paralyzed people.
I have only had the opportunity to use this machine for 6 months, and have used it only for the wrist-finger extension exercise. I feel I have been very diligent in using the machine for an approx. 3.5 average number of times per day. By the end of this initial 6-month period I have experienced both trace wrist movement, and very noticeable voluntary movement of my paralyzed index finger. I have also seen trace movement in the thumb.
Due to the voluntary movement I have experienced, brought on by the use of the Auto-Move 800, I can make no other evaluation of the machine’s benefits for me than EXCELLENT.
The frosting on the cake has been the certain benefits brought to my phycological well-being, in response to the HOPE for future relief from the paralysis the Auto-Move 800 has supplied me with. I look forward, with great anticipation, to using the machine on other parts of my now paralyzed left side.
Professor James Cauraugh, University of Florida
Many patient were able to move better than when they came in, and it was real dramatic for a few folks. It opened up that avenue of ‘Wow, maybe I really can do something with that limb’.
Wrist and finger extension control are some of the most difficult motions to regain after a stroke. There is a dramatic spontaneous recovery of some motor capabilities for many people in the first six months to a year, but typically after a year these people remain in a dysfunctional state where they aren’t able to move their affected arm. During treatment, three electrodes were placed on the participants forearms, monitoring muscle’s electrical activity as the patient tried to extend the wrist or fingers, then fired a small impulse to the muscles to help the patient complete the motion. The stimulus was not painful and was described as “slight pinpricks” or a “tickling” sensation. As patients gained muscle control, the unit automatically decreased the level of stimulation, continually challenging them to exert more control on their own. After completing 12 sessions, the people who received electrical stimulation had gained upper limb control, on average doubling the number of blocks they could move, although they still could not move as many blocks as senior citizens who were not impaired. They also performed better on a test of how much force they exerted when pushing up on a small woo den platform with their wrist, exerting more force and holding it for longer. In contrast, members of the control group did not show significant improvement.