FES is a technique used to produce contractions in paralyzed muscles by the application of small pulses of electrical stimulation to nerves that supply the paralyzed muscle. The stimulation is controlled in such a way that the movement produced provides useful function. FES is used as an aid to assist walking and also as a means of practicing functional movements for therapeutic benefit
Judy Skinner runs an Outreach Clinic for Odstock Medical Ltd based at Salisbury Hospital. She is also able to offer privately funded assessment and treatment with FES
FES can be effective where movement has been lost due to nerve injury / disease within the brain or spinal cord. This is called an upper motor neuron lesion. This includes people who have:
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Spinal cord injury, T12 and above (SCI)
Cerebral palsy (CP)
Head injury (HI)
Familial or hereditary spastic Para paresis (F or HSP)
Other conditions affecting the spinal cord or brain
FES can also be used in orthopedic conditions where muscle weakness is due to disuse or inhibition.
ODFS@Pace or ODFS@Pace XL (wireless activation) for Dropped Foot
O2CHS - Odstock Two Channel Stimulator for more complex walking problems
Using the Microstim 2v2, Odstock 4-Channel Stimulator , ODFS Pace on exercise mode
Electrical stimulation can be a useful form of exercise when there is insufficient voluntary controlled movement to make effective contractions. By repetitive graded contractions of muscle, it is possible to have the same beneficial exercise effects as voluntary exercise. The main effects are:
Increase in muscle bulk
Increase in muscle strength
Reduction in spasticity.
Improved local circulation
Improved fatigue resistance
Re-education of movement
FES treatment is provided for upper limb neurological problems resulting from stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy. There are three main categories of upper limb treatment:
Subluxation of the shoulder
Shoulder subluxation is frequently painful and the range of shoulder movement and function are reduced.
The Microstim 2v2 device has been specifically designed to be used to exercise the muscles around the shoulder. By providing overlapping stimulation from two separate channels, the first channel can be used to stimulate muscles that lift the humerus into the socket while the second channel takes over to maintain it in that position. The electrical stimulation is very effective at reducing the pain associated with shoulder subluxation and where there is some voluntary movement, it can result in an overall improvement in arm function
FES Exercise to improve hand and arm function
Where there is some functional movement the treatment aim is to improve the hand and arm function.
In most cases, if there is little voluntary function, it is unlikely that there can be significant improvement in function after using electrical stimulation. However, electrical stimulation can still have beneficial effects.
FES can be used to relieve spasticity with the aim of loosening an over tight grip or elbow flexion
The main treatment aim is to reduce pain associated with spasticity, increase range of motion to assist with hygiene by enabling better washing or assist other activities of daily living such as dressing
FES using the PACE Drop Foot Stimulator
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Self-referrals are accepted.
Referrals can also be accepted from your GP or Consultant, Case Managers, Health Care Professionals, Solicitors, Social Workers, Carers, Support Workers or anyone else involved in your care.
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