Rehabilitation by functional electrical stimulation (FES)
Neuro-concept therapists integrate Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) into their rehabilitation programs to recreate movement patterns in the arms, legs and trunk.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a well-established rehabilitation technique that sends electrical impulses to the nerves, causing the muscles to contract. This is done by applying electrodes to the skin that are connected with cables to a stimulator that produces the electrical impulses.
These impulses excite the nerve of a paralyzed muscle in such a way that it contracts. Stimulation combined and synchronized with several muscles can increase the physiological effects associated with muscle activity and result in functional movements (i.e., functional stimulation).
FES allows you to work on weak or paralyzed muscles. This is an effective way to stay in shape and exercise after a spinal cord injury, stroke or other neurological impairment such as Parkinson’s disease or transverse myelitis when it is difficult to engage in regular exercise.
FES devices are generally prescribed for long-term use to increase muscle mass, strength, cardiovascular health, or to help restore grasping (and walking) functions 1, 2. Short-term use of therapy with SEF promotes neuroplasticity by stimulating the reorganization and re-training of the residual central nervous system to improve walking ability for example and reduce dependence on stimulation over time. the benefits of SEF have been shown to be maintained after cessation of therapy 3, 4, 5.
You can check out other videos on functional electrical stimulation here.
- Thrasher TA, Flett HM, Popovic MR. Gait training regimen for incomplete spinal cord injury using functional electrical stimulation. Spinal Cord, 2006;44(6): 357–61.
- Brissot R, Gallien P, Le Bot MP, Beaubras A, Laisne D, Beillot J, et al. Clinical experience with functional electrical stimulation assisted gait with Parastep in spinal cord-injured patients. Spine, 2000;25(4): 501–8.
- Thrasher TA, Popovic MR. Functional electrical stimulation of walking: function, exercise and rehabilitation. Ann Readapt Med Phys, 2008;51(6): 452–60.
- Popovic MR, Curt A, Keller T, Dietz V. Functional electrical stimulation for grasping and walking: indications and limitations. Spinal Cord, 2001;39(8): 403–12.
- Field-Fote EC. Combined use of body weight support, functional electric stimulation, and treadmill training to improve walking ability in individuals with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Jun;82(6): 818-24.