The team at Advance Rehab Centre are all very excited to introduce our new rehabilitation “toy” for hand and arm training, the “Pablo”. We’ve had a Wii system for some time, and use it regularly for upper limb therapy, but often find it doesn’t quite accommodate some of our clients who might not have full movement or have significant weakness. The Wii games can often be too challenging or impossible to play and logistically, it can be difficult to set the Wii up for progressive or independent play. So, we went in search for something more specific to the needs of the neurological population that we treat. That is how we found the Pablo!
Much like the Wii, the Pablo features interactive software and responds to movements of the controller to complete different games. However, the Pablo is so much more! Using the Pablo, we can train movement of the arm and hand as well as grip force and release. The Pablo has other advantages – it’s much more sensitive than the Wii, and we can tailor the settings on each game to target training to a specific movement, be it at the hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder. It can also detect the smallest amounts of movement and grip strength and the therapists can adjust the parameters of the game to each individual, meaning the games will challenge you, but can be played at all levels of ability. The game can be programed to automatically progress through levels when successful, and is incredibly easy for patients to use.
Quite a few of our clients have happily participated in product testing, and so far the results have been very encouraging. They find the games challenging, but fun- (read addictive), and the feedback after each game is very motivating. The Pablo software also charts progress, giving great feedback on how training is going over the course of a single session or over a course of sessions. So far it has been used mainly by clients with a condition called hemiplegia – meaning weakness down one side – often as a result of stroke or brain injury, but it can be used by anyone who wants to work on arm movement and hand strength.
The Pablo device comes with two additional hardware options called the Multiball and the Multiboard. These can be used with the Pablo to change the focus of the movement. The Multiball for instance can be used to isolate pronation and supination of the elbow, as well as wrist flexion and extension. The Multiboard can be used to isolate 3D trunk movements when practicing sitting or standing balance.
The upper limb is often neglected in therapy when there is minimal movement and strength. In very weak muscles, it can be very difficult to get feedback about movement or grip strength which can discourage practice and reduce overall dose of therapy. The Pablo is a proving to be a promising tool to enhance repetition of movement and strength training in a very engaging, fun environment.
If you think Pablo might be suitable for you or someone you know, give us a call at the Advance Rehab Centre!