How Can FES Assist With A Spinal Cord Injury?

Suffering a spinal cord injury after an accident can alter your ability to move various muscles or body parts. The spinal cord and your brain make up the nervous system and control most of your body’s functions. After an injury, your brain cannot receive certain signals that tell your body to move.

Fortunately, different rehabilitation options, like FES, could help your condition. FES is fundamental electrical stimulation and may help restore muscle function after a spinal cord injury.

How does FES work?

FES uses electrical impulses to attempt to activate different nerves and muscles. The point of FES is to restore movement or function for people who suffered spinal cord injuries. The electrical impulses trigger the function, such as contracting muscles in the foot. FES can also help restore some bladder or bowel control in different patients.

What are the benefits of FES?

If you qualify for FES, it can help you regain some of your independence. Some patients report the ability to sense pressure, temperature and touch again. You may be able to grasp and release objects, hold a pen or stand and walk for short distances. If you require a ventilator to breathe, FES could eliminate your need for one.

When you can exercise your muscles again, you decrease the risk of muscle atrophy and fractures. You can improve your blood circulation and reduce the risk of different ailments caused by a sedentary lifestyle.

Most FES devices have an external electrical box with wires attached to electrodes. Doctors may place electrodes on the skin with sticky pads, beneath the skin or embedded in the muscle.