The innovative SaeboFlex enables highly effective and targeted hand rehabilitation, which is used in the treatment of many neurological and orthopaedic disease.
The dynamic hand orthosis, SaeboFlex, was developed in 2001 by two occupational therapists. At that time, there were only a few therapeutic approaches that focused specifically on retraining in grasping and releasing with the hand. With their revolutionary therapeutic approach, the two occupational therapists had created a holistic care concept to help and train patients with limited hand function after a neurological or orthopaedic disease.
The SaeboFlex is a custom-made finger-hand-wrist-forearm orthosis that supports the extension of the wrist and finger. This makes it possible for the patient to hold and release objects. During the therapy session, elastic balls of different sizes are used as grasping objects.
In Kliniken Schmieder, patients are fitted with SaeboFlex, which is individually made and adjusted. The orthosis supports the wrist and hand and, at the same time allows movement of the arm and fingers. The orthosis is designed to help patients regain functions in the arm-hand area by stimulating the muscles and nerves in the hand.
During the therapy sessions conducted under our specialist’s supervision, patients participate in a series of goal-oriented exercises, e.g., grasping and releasing objects or performing fine motor movements. Patients may also perform stretching exercises to release and loosen tendons and muscles and improve dexterity and range of movement.
The individual therapy sessions are tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs and can be adjusted as the patient progresses. The therapist at Kliniken Schmieder will guide the patients through the exercise, helping to maximise their recovery. At the start of the therapy session, patients usually still need the active help of the therapists.
However, SaeboFlex does require a high degree of motivation in order to regain the functionality of the affected body parts as best as possible.
One of the key benefits of SaeboFlex is that it can be used in both clinical and home settings. When progress is achieved, Kliniken Schmieder’s specialists often advise patients to continue to use the therapy system at home to maintain and further improve their hand function.
The therapy can be used for treating various conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and other neurological and orthopaedic conditions involving muscle weakness and difficulties in gross and fine motor control.
However, patients need minimum physical requirements in order to be treated with dynamic finger-hand-arm orthosis. Patients should be able to move their shoulders and elbows actively at random and to a small extent. In addition, they should be able to bend their fingers at will, but not extend them, as this is done by the orthosis.
The therapy results in Kliniken Schmieder concur with what several studies have shown – SaeboFlex significantly improves hand function in patients with neurological and orthopaedic conditions. A clinical case series published in Occupational Therapy International reported that SaeboFlex training led to significant improvements in arm and hand function in acute stroke patients after 12 weeks of sessions. Furthermore, SaeboFlex increased grip strength and improved wrist extension in individuals with chronic hemiparesis in a 2006 study.
In addition to improved hand function, SaeboFlex can also help reduce muscle spasticity and improve the overall quality of life. There is an improvement in mobility in the arm-hand area, as well as increased muscle strength. The goal for the patient is to be able to use his or her arms and fingers again so that he or she can perform as many everyday tasks as possible independently – from picking up a bunch of keys to brushing your teeth to putting a coffee cup down.
The focus of the Kliniken Schmieder is on a holistic, interdisciplinary, innovative and personalised rehabilitation concept for the patient, developed by professors, doctors, therapists and nurses.
In this context, Saebo Flex represents one of the possible therapy methods of ergotherapy from a multitude of therapy variants. Our experts of doctors and therapists decide individually and depending on the course of the patient’s illness whether the form of therapy with SaeboFlex is used and is conducive to the desired physical improvement.