Rita Wania is an occupational therapist in Villach, Austria. She works in her private practice and treats patients with hand injuries and patients after stroke or brain injuries. She has always been interested in applying technology in therapy, which led her to become a lecturer at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, where she teaches a course on the use of new technologies in the therapeutic setting.
A patient’s story:
Mr R suffered an intracerebral haemorrhage of the basal ganglia in September 2017, which left his left side paralyzed. He spent three months in the hospital and six months at a neurological rehabilitation clinic. When I first met Mr R in September 2018 in my private practice, he sat in a wheelchair, but could transfer to a therapy bed with minimal help. His left leg had recovered enough to enable him to climb four of five steps with the help of one person.
Even though Mr R had regained some function in his left leg, his left arm showed hardly any movement. Over the next six months, Mr R came to my practice twice a week to work on regaining some active motion of his left arm. My main tool of choice was the electrical muscle stimulation. Mr R relearned to actively elevate his shoulder and to flex and extend his left elbow.
Despite seeing good results in the more proximal joints of Mr R’s left arm, his fingers showed hardly any sign of active motion. I had included the finger flexors and extensors in the electrical muscle stimulation, but they didn’t react as well as the bigger joints.
After working with Mr R for seven months — about one and a half years after his haemorrhage — I started using the EMG-biofeedback tool from Rewellio in April 2019. It is hard to believe, but after only three training session, Mr R showed active finger flexion — the first time since he sustained his hemiparesis. Since then, we have been using the Rewellio EMG-biofeedback regularly and Mr R can actively flex all of his fingers into a fist (August 2019).