Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Lower Limb Function

Mrs.FL wants to recover function in the muscles of her lower extremities as much as possible as she lives a busy life volunteering and taking care of her elderly mother. She has read about electrical stimulation to enhance lower limb function. She wonders if this is the best method of restoration within a reasonable time frame.
What is the purpose of electrical stimulation to muscles of the lower extremity?
1. Electrical stimulation techniques have been employed to enhance lower limb muscle structure and function in people with SCI
2. Involves delivering a series of electrical pulse trains to the muscle (or nerve supplying the muscle) over time such that it simulates the “normal” exercise experience
What is the difference between Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and Patterned Electrical Stimulation (PES)?
1. FESis directed towards the attainment of purposeful movement such as cycling or walking
2. PES, on the other hand, is focused on producing muscle contractions that may be used to generate muscle force such as in an isometric condition.
3. FESmay have additional benefits over PES alone
What evidence is there for FES?
1. FES-assisted exercise programs are beneficial in preventing and restoring lower limb muscle atrophy as well as improving lower limb muscle strength and endurance in motor complete SCI.

Figure 3a.FES apparatus during FES-assisted cycle exercise.

Figure 3b.FES apparatus during FES-assisted cycle exercise.

For more information please see: Functional Electrical Stimulation