This 4-hr workshop provides examples of evidence-based therapies targeting weak shoulder, arm and hand muscles.

Overview: This workshop provides examples of strength and task-specific training that target muscles of the shoulder, arm and hand. Exercises will be presented target key muscles and stroke survivors can practice independently including shoulder protraction, forward flexion, external rotation, wrist and finger extension, supination and thumb abduction. Interventions for eliciting movement will include mirror therapy, mental practice and electrical stimulation. Emphasis will be placed on semi-supervised and independent practice, enabling up to 300 repetitions per hour without manual guidance by therapists. Environmental set-up will be highlighted using photos and videos, because careful set-up can enable practice outside of therapy sessions. Research evidence supporting interventions will be provided.

Learning Objectives: After attending the workshop, you will be able to:

Recognise common compensations when observing stroke survivors attempting to reach and grasp objects

Explain how to minimise compensatory strategies or kinematic deviations during retraining through appropriate environmental set-up

Plan a retraining session with a stroke survivor who is very weak, using motor learning principles, strength training and task-specific practice

Cite references from systematic reviews and national guidelines that support use of strength training, mirror therapy, mental practice and electrical stimulation to help elicit and improve upper limb motor recovery.

Target audience: Occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and allied health assistants. Student therapists will also find this workshop helpful. Anyone else that is interested in this topic is welcome to register and participate (eg stroke survivors, rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists).

Assumed knowledge: This workshop builds on the StrokeEd workshop ‘Analysis and retraining of advanced hand coordination post-stroke’ where learners practice analysing reach, grasp and manipulation (and those who have attended the 3-day UL retraining workshop). Anyone who has NOT attended a previous StrokeEd workshops is still welcome to attend. It is also assumed that all participants have read the recommended pre-reading.

Recommended reading & homework (task analysis) – a link will be provided by email.