The Upper Extremity BioSleeve
The Wearable Therapy® Upper Extremity BioSleeve is a customized, wearable electrical stimulation device for muscle therapy, spasm relief, and pain alleviation.
The BioSleeve can be worn on the body and underneath clothing to deliver unprecedented therapy time (up to 12 hours per day) or worn as needed for pain relief. It can be used to manage the effects of muscle paralysis and pain at the same time.
AxioBionics can make the BioSleeve in an array of configurations to stimulate the shoulder, arm, and hand depending on the needs of the patient and desired outcome.
Effects of Muscle Paralysis and Spasms
Paralysis is the loss of voluntary control of one or more muscles. Paralysis of the arm is a common outcome from disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Not only does paralysis interrupt intentional movement with loss of function, it also causes atrophy and weakness, diminished blood circulation, an imbalance of muscle forces, and a loss of range of motion from spastic muscles that flex and freeze joints.
The effects of paralysis can impede rehabilitation goals and quality of life.
AxioBionics can help lessen the effects of paralysis and get you moving forward.
Philip Muccio, CPO, Explains How the Upper Extremity BioSleeve Works with his Patient, Jessica
Interview with Jessica and her Mom about the Upper Extremity BioSleeve
The Upper Extremity BioSleeve is indicated for the treatment of the effects of neuromuscular disorders
- Prevention or Retardation of Muscle Atrophy
- Relaxation of Muscle Spasms
- Increasing Local Circulation
- Increasing Joint Range of Motion
- Muscle Re-education
Wearable Therapy® Treats Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions that tend to keep a muscle in a constant state of firing and tension. Usually muscle spasms affect the biceps and finger flexors which tends to force the arm into a state of flexion where the elbow and fingers are unable to straighten. This unwanted arm position thwarts efforts to improve arm function and delays progress.
The Effects of Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms force the elbow, wrist and fingers into flexion. The longer the arm remains flexed, the stiffer the joints become. Patients cannot use the arm when it's contracted in a flexed position.
Spasm of the finger flexors curls the fingers into a fist and prevents the hand from opening.
If allowed to remain flexed, the elbow and finger joints develop contractures that require a lot of therapy or other medical interventions to treat before the rehabilitation process can continue.
There is a strong tendency for patients to not use an arm that is flexed and contracted.
Upper Extremity BioSleeve Delivers All-Day Therapy to Counter the Effects of Spasms
To overcome the effects of spasms of the biceps, the BioSleeve stimulates the triceps causing the elbow to extend and ultimately to keep the arm straight.
To overcome the effects of spasms of the wrist or finger flexors, the BioSleeve stimulates the finger extensor muscles which then opens the hand. The continual motion from the contracting muscles keeps the fingers extended and relaxed. The patient's hand is more likely to be used when the fingers can be opened.
Spasm and Range of Motion Management with the UE BioSleeve
The effects of paralysis and muscle spasms can be countered with the Upper Extremity BioSleeve by stimulating muscles opposite of the muscles in spasm. For example, the BioSleeve stimulates the triceps to gently push the elbow into extension and the finger extensors to extend and open the hand. As long as the BioSleeve is active, the muscles are working to keep the arm extended and relaxed, an advantage of wearing the sleeve as many hours as possible during the day.
An extended and relaxed arm has advantages
- Patient is more likely to use the arm in functional activities when the arm and hand are fully extended
- Therapy can focus on functional goals rather than trying to achieve range of motion
- An extended arm and hand improves the limits of reach
- Arm swing during walking is improved
Once gains are made, it’s critical to maintain them. Without ongoing treatment, a paralyzed arm will tend to regress. Therapy services are limited in time by insurance coverage, but not with Wearable Therapy®. Once an Upper Extremity BioSleeve is purchased, it can be used every day of the year to fight atrophy, reduce spasms and improve joint range of motion.
Consistency is the Key to Success with Electrical Stimulation
The Upper Extremity BioSleeve positions and hold electrodes to the arm as its worn. The quality of stimulation is the same every day. It can be applied to the arm in a matter of minutes and worn underneath clothing.
Imagine Boosting Therapy Time to 12 Hours a Day
A paralyzed arm needs a lot of attention to manage the effects of paralysis. One to three hours a week in therapy is not sufficient time to accomplish goals or to manage the deleterious effects of many neuromuscular disorders. Muscles need to be active throughout the day to prevent atrophy and joint stiffness. The Upper Extremity BioSleeve stimulates muscles the entire time it is worn and provides the most extensive muscle therapy possible.
Enhancement of Therapy Time with Wearable Therapy®
Typical maximum in-clinic therapy time: 12-36 hours per year
UE BioSleeve at 12 hours per day: 4000 hours per year
David was fit with an Upper Extremity BioSleeve 10 years after his brain injury. At the time of the fitting, the left arm was atrophied, contracted and stiff, and cold from a lack of proper circulation. Slowly the arm began to relax, straighten and warm. David uses the left arm now in activities that he thought were not possible. His mother couldn't be happier to see him progress toward greater independence and higher quality of life.
Besides having the BioSleeve for the arm, David has a Wearable Therapy® system for his left foot for foot drop correction and spasm control and a BioVest for back muscle spasms.
David's BioSleeve targets the following muscles:
- Finger Extensors
Jessica incurred a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the age of 4. The TBI partially paralyzed the left arm, leaving her with muscle atrophy, severe muscle spasms, and joint stiffness. The arm was not very functional due to its flexed position; it was mostly held at 90° of elbow flexion. The BioSleeve she wears was designed to treat the effects of her neurological condition.
Today, Jessica's arm is fully relaxed and flexible which allows her to use the arm more often. Jessica is more engaged now in yoga, exercise, and at her workshop. This affable young woman has much more living on her agenda.
Jessica wears the Upper Extremity BioSleeve 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. She was fit with the BioSleeve 30 years after her TBI.
Jessica's BioSleeve targets the following muscles:
- Finger Extensors
Custom Made by Qualified Clinicians
Every patient we treat undergoes an extensive evaluation. Each Wearable Therapy® BioSleeve is custom-made to ensure the sleeve fits the dimensions of the arm and meets the desired goals. Patients are seen during follow-ups scheduled at predetermined intervals in order to monitor their progress.
Jonathan incurred a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the age of one-and-a-half. Although Jonathan participated in therapy religiously for many years, his mother had given up hope that he would ever use the arm. The muscles were atrophied and the arm was contracted and bent at the elbow, wrist, and fingers with little incentive to use the arm.
Jonathan was fit with a customized Upper Extremity BioSleeve at the age of 14 and wears it 8-12 hours a day. Since the fitting, Jonathan's rehabilitation progress has rocketed forward. The extensive muscle therapy time has helped improve his range of motion at all joints, relaxed muscle spasms, managed atrophy and re-educated muscle movement.
Jonathan's BioSleeve targets the following muscles:
- Serratus Anterior
- Upper Trapezius
- Finger Extensors
Enhance Your Rehabilitation
- An Orthopedically-prepared Arm - The BioSleeve can play a key role prepping the arm for therapy by maintaining or improving range of motion of some or all the joints of the upper extremity.
- Atrophy Management - Stronger muscles help improve participation and outcomes in therapy.
- Muscle Spasm Attenuation - Relaxation of muscle spasms removes resistance to voluntary movement which makes it much easier to move the arm in all phases of therapy and training.
- Muscle Re-education - Relearning movements after paralysis is not easy to do. By contracting muscles hundreds of time per day, the patient is reminded how muscles should work which facilitates the rehabilitation process.