Pate Rehabilitation has joined the top recognized rehabilitation centers in the United States to acquire the ArmeoSpring® for helping patients who have difficulty moving their arms. Pate Rehabilitation and UT Southwestern Medical Center are currently the only two places in Dallas to use the Armeo Spring for clinical rehabilitation purposes.
The Armeo Spring is based on an ergonomic arm exoskeleton with integrated springs for arm weight support. It embraces the entire arm to reduce or eliminate the effects of gravity so that the patient can produce greater movements that would not be possible using traditional methods. It involves virtual reality training to help the affected arm’s ability to function better in the real world. Instant computerized feedback on performance is provided, which is key to skill acquisition and refinement. In addition to its treatment benefits, Armeo Spring has assessment components that document objective progress over time.
Used in conjunction with other therapies, the Armeo Spring can help the brain restore its ability to direct arm/hand functions (in the rehab world, this is called neuroplasticity).
Patients at Pate who use the Armeo Spring report that they like using the system and want to continue. They are interested to discover what motions they are capable of and how to maximize any return of movement that is seen. Being able to perform such actions as ‘cracking an egg,’ ‘picking fruit from a grocery aisle,’ and ‘cleaning a window’ serve as realistic tasks the patient is challenged to perform using only the affected limb in a gravity-reduced plane.
The ArmeoSpring® allows the therapist to modify the difficulty level as their patient’s skill level improves and objectively track these changes during the course of therapeutic intervention. As clinicians, we are ecstatic to have this type of device at our facility. It opens up possibilities for those patients who have the potential for return of movement. The research and evidence behind this type of technology and its application to neurorehabilitation is exciting and of upmost benefit to the patients we serve.