Case study – Upper limb rehabilitation using the Biometric E-LINK exerciser

 

On the 17th of October 2005 whilst on holiday abroad, Amy experienced a sudden onset of acute Type I diabetes.  The sudden destruction of insulin producing cells resulted in Amy going into a coma.   The severity of Amy’s illness resulted in her having a brain injury with significant physical weakness to right sided limbs.  Amy required intensive medical, nursing and therapeutic care before being discharged home many months later. She achieved an excellent recovery but needed ongoing therapy due to physical disabilities of lower and upper limbs. Amy had learnt to compensate upper limb weakness of her dominant side by using her left hand for functional activities, she had developed learnt non-use.

 

The Biometric E-Link machine is a computerised exerciser and was introduced to Amy in 2013 by her occupational therapist.  This machine gave Amy an opportunity to build on her achievements (i.e. range of movement, strength and stamina) in different ways and also provide Amy with the objective data she needed to know which encouraged Amy to continue with rehabilitation as it offered her information which objectively tracked her progress over time.

 

On initial assessment Amy’s right hand grip strength was less than 1 kilogram.  Over a period of 14 months Amy has used the Biometric E-Link machine, making use of the various attachments including a dynamometer, pinch meter, and resistive control unit (as shown in the photograph). The Biometric-E-Link machine has assisted Amy in increasing active range of movement and strength of upper and lower limbs.  She has been able to carry over these achievements in a range of functional activities where she now engages her right hand.  Grip strength has peaked to over 10 kilograms and she is still making improvements.

 

Amy’s occupational therapist continues to set more challenging tasks for Amy to work on and also encourages and supports her, along with Amy’s family and friends, to carry over her achievements in function.

 

Amy has expanded the range of functional activities she can now participate in using her right arm/hand and is currently using her achievements to aid her when carrying out personal care including when putting her glasses on, to hold crockery, to pick up small objects, when playing board games, opening doors and drawers and more recently she can now push and steer a supermarket trolley when out shopping with her mum.

 

If you would like to know more about the Biometric E-LINK and how it is used in occupational therapy or about occupational therapy rehabilitation provided by Independent Rehabilitation Services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

 

Angela Gordon

Specialist Neurological Occupational Therapist

 

 

 

Declan McNichol

Bill Young

Angela Gordon

Birgit Rathje-Vale

Helen Smart