How FES helps with different mobility problems

Cardiovascular accidents and spinal cord injuries require specific therapies. Electrostimulation can be adapted to every need. In the following blog, you can review different functionalities. 

As we saw in the blog How does functional electrostimulation works?this can be an excellent alternative to treat patients with mobility problems.

 

The equipment FES 6 Advanced, TrainFES Precision and WalkFES are linked to a smartphone or tablet device on which you can program training sessions and even assist with activities of daily living (ADLs).

TrainFES helps with upper extremity, reaching and fine motor tasks, as well as assisting with standing (the ability to stand on one's feet). In more functional users, it allows them to correct gait patterns, improving walking coordination. TrainFES equipment can be synchronized to the exercise bike (motorized cycloergometers) thanks to the inertial sensor that detects the cycles of the bicycle, and thus assists the user in the task.

The same with other complementary equipment. The TrainFES Precision line has been designed for a safe and delicate stimulation in highly sensitive areas, so it is indicated for the training of people with different pelvic-perineal disorders, as well as for people with swallowing disorders in speech therapy.

Rehabilitation prognosis in main pathologies:

 

Stroke:

People with stroke usually present hemiparesis, which is - as explained in this EfisioPediatrics article - "paralysis on one side of the body. paralysis of one side of the body (right or left depending on the location of the lesion in the brain). Generally, the focus of rehabilitation is to recover the mobility of the upper body (arms) and lower body (legs).

In upper extremities the TrainFES equipment can assist in reaching exercises, hand manipulation or fine gripper. It also facilitates the training of shoulder subluxation which is very common in these users; they usually have inactivity of the shoulder muscles, as the limb descends by gravitational effect. It is therefore important to train with scapular stabilization exercises and protective muscles of the affected shoulder.

Functional electrostimulation reduces spasticity and facilitates joint movement.

On the other hand, the WalkFES equipment activates and strengthens the leg muscles. In this way, it assists standing and gait coordination by detecting gait cycles through the IMU inertial sensor. 

The sensor detects when to stimulate the muscles when walking and also when to decrease this activation, as the person manages to activate with increasing autonomy.

Spinal Cord Injury:

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) affects one or more portions of the spinal cord. According to the severity and magnitude of the injury, it can impair motor, sensory and autonomic functions in different ways, classifying them as complete or incomplete. The latter is the one with the most favorable prognosis in terms of rehabilitation.

The rehabilitation program for a person with SCI varies according to the site of injury: high (tetraplegia) and low (paraplegia) injuries. 

In the upper extremities, the use of FES allows strengthening the musculature for transfer training and greater independence; reaching and grasping objects.

In the case of low SCI, lower extremity training includes assistance with therapeutic standing and walking, decreasing spasms. 

Use of the equipment TrainFES 6 ADVANCED allows for intensive and effective training. In addition, it can be synchronized to cycloergometers or remergometers and assist functional movement, thus increasing cardiac tolerance.

 

Conclusion

The literature is extensive regarding the benefits of using TrainFES equipment, since it improves muscle activation, reduces infections and osteoporosis, stimulates neuronal plasticity facilitating motor relearning, increases cardiovascular work and reduces spasticity. Besides being a therapy that can be used from the early stages of the injury.

 

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