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"The Skinny On Splints"

Updated: Jan 20

When the blog commenced in August of this past year (2019), I had no idea there was an entire other world of survivors out there past the internet pages I was finding - then I found Instagram and Facebook - and WHOA, is there a huge amount of us out there, all looking for answers and improvement tips.

ALL ages are affected by stroke, despite many misconceptions - and I have to say, I for one, was a bit shocked to learn through my recovery how many people were not in their 60’s, but much younger. In fact, according to Strokecenter.org, nearly one-fourth of strokes occur in people under the age of 65; the rest occur over the age of 65 (risk increases at age 55). Some of this research has been accredited to MRI technology improving immensely - but there will be more on that topic next week in my article entitled “Strokes Have No Age Limit.”


A wonderful woman appeared on my feed time and time again after the site launch. Her name is Jane Connely, and we have featured her before in an email with her article, “Don’t Progress Poison with Perfection.” I then discovered another very useful article, and I think you will too - it’s called The Skinny On Splints. If you work with a PT, s/he has mentioned several methods of improving foot drop, or drop foot. I have worked with an AFO, as well as the Bioness L300GO, an electronic device that lifts your affected foot up and out. Although Jane is an OT, she addresses a number of stroke-related PT issues on her site. For instance, her site mentions an AFO as a “great tool for foot drop.” By the way, AFO stands for Ankle Foot Orthosis. Some PT’s prefer to use the term Assistive Foot Orthosis. Either way, it’s a great device, especially in the beginning weeks/months post-stroke. I began using one the 2nd week post-stroke!


Since falls are the #1 cause of injury and death post-stroke, any device that can assist in preventing falls can be crucial to your survival.


“An Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) is a great tool for foot drop. In those first several weeks of recovery an AFO allows survivors to walk when they have no control of their ankle, shin, hamstring, and calf. It allows the survivor to work on the bigger muscles of their hips and thighs in order to walk. For many people post-brain injury, it is an essential part of their treatment plan” HealingtheBrainwithJane.com.


AFOs can assist all ages (except infants & toddlers who can't walk yet) of survivors. Data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), suggest that “stroke survivors may have better functional recovery if they are prescribed an AFO than if they are not prescribed an AFO. The use of AFOs is considered to be a feasible option to improve functional recovery of stroke rehabilitation patients”. This is important at any age and vital for the hope for full recovery.


She discusses both feet and wrists in the article. I recommend checking it out, as she introduced a few things I have yet to know. This is why it is so important we all share our info together! I have also mentioned the Active Hand Company here before (see below), another company helping survivors with innovative devices. I also have a page on the site full of Helpful Products to help you along your recovery journey, click here to check it out.

We can all inspire each other by working together and use the amazing resources we have at our fingertips in this age of amazing technology. New devices are discovered daily to help survivors progress!


Imagine how much harder it may be when you couldn’t just log on to a group chat or join in on a comment feed about the daily struggle! Jane runs live stories all the time with great, inspirational people who help us strive past our strokes. I highly recommend her profile, writing, and everything else! Thank you for what you do Jane - we all thank you! Have a wonderful day everybody!

Maureen

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