Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
The Rehab Physio uses the latest innovations and technology to help people recover their function. These devices are only suitable for application by suitably qualified trained medical personnel which can be found at The Rehab Physio.
FES is a technique used to produce movement in paralysed muscles by the application of tiny pulses of electrical stimulation to nerves that supply the paralysed muscle. The stimulation is controlled in such a way that the movement produced provides useful function and is not painful at all. FES is used as an aid to assist walking and also as a means of practicing functional movements for therapeutic benefit in the arm and leg.
Both The Royal College of Physicians and The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommend functional electrical stimulation for the treatment of foot drop and shoulder subluxation.
Foot Drop Stimulators
People with Dropped Foot find that they catch the toes of their affected leg as they swing it forwards. This is often because they are unable to lift the foot up at the ankle. The most common solution for this is the use of a plastic splint worn in the shoe called an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO). These enable the toes to clear the ground but also restrict movement in preventing a normal walking pattern and can also be quite uncomfortable gained.
FES stimulators are much more discrete, they use a small footswitch placed discreetly in the heel of the user’s shoe.
When the weight comes off the heel, the switch triggers the stimulator which then conveys the electrical current via sticky electrode pads to the muscle and the nerve supplying it. The muscle is then activated and the foot lifts up at the ankle.
FES can help reduce trips and falls and it can also make walking faster and less of an effort. It is possible that the muscles can even relearn how to lift the foot without the stimulator. FES has been declared as a safe and effective treatment for Drop Foot by The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
There are now several Foot Drop FES stimulators available from The Rehab Physio:-
The Bioness L300 uses a wireless footswitch to ensure effective triggering with every step. The absence of wires and the housing of the electrodes in the cuff makes these devices easy to put on with one hand - which is so important for many users who may have an arm weakness also.
Upper Limb Stimulators
The Odstock Microstim neuromuscular stimulator is intended for the exercise of weak or paralysed muscle and can be used on the arm to assist in the rehabilitation of spasticity or weakness in the arm. It is designed to be simple to use with the minimum necessary user controls. The output stimulation intensity is ramped at the beginning and end of each cycle by pulse width modulation to produce a comfortable sensation. Powered by a standard 9V battery, this makes it ideal for use at home for regular exercise.
The therapists at the Rehab Physio were really helpful and understanding, after they treated me with FES I could start to walk without tripping, which gave me the confidence to go shopping again.
The Rehab Physio packages
The Rehab Physio offers special packages which ensure the purchase of the FES device, relevant consumables and 3 follow up sessions to ensure proper and safe use of the equipment, to maximise the benefit of this technology to the user.