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Functional Electrical Stimulation

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) uses small amounts of electrical current to empower people with weakened or paralyzed muscles to perform functional movements. FES is applied via electrode pads placed on the skin over target muscle groups. The electrical current stimulates the peripheral nerves in the muscle, causing the nerve to fire. This, in turn, causes the muscle to contract, using the body’s own potential energy to perform functional movement, hence MYOLYN’s slogan: Powering Your Potential.

FES can be used to help people with neurological disorders like spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and more. It can also benefit people who have trouble activating their muscles after an orthopedic surgery like an ACL reconstruction or knee replacement.

The benefits of FES include:

  • Relaxation of muscle spasms
  • Prevention or retardation of disuse atrophy
  • Increasing local blood circulation
  • Maintaining or increasing range of motion

Some studies have also shown that FES can increase bone density, re-educate muscles, improve functionality, and improve cardiovascular health.

MYOLYN has years of experience researching and developing the latest FES technologies. The company's first products use FES to empower people living with muscle weakness or paralysis to perform therapeutic load-bearing exercise in the form of cycling. Check out our products page to learn more.

 

The benefits for people with MS

FES for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

While FES-cycling is typically associated with spinal cord injury, its benefits extend to people with other neurological disorders, especially stroke and MS. These benefits include:

  • Improved walking and cycling ability
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Improved physical, mental, and social well-being
  • Better quality of life

Exciting research into the benefits of FES-cycling for people with MS is being conducted at places like the Shepherd Center and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

FES benefits for Parkisons.

FES for Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Parkinson's causes stiffness, weakness, loss of coordination, tremors, and other effects on movement that can be treated by motor-assisted cycling, especially if cueing is provided.

It makes perfect sense, then, that motor-assisted cycling with functional electrical stimulation (FES-cycling) would be a great therapy option for people with PD. However, surprisingly, only MYOLYN’s co-founder, Matthew Bellman, PhD, together with Chris Hass, PhD, have investigated the potential benefits of FES-cycling for people with Parkinson's [4]. Their pilot data suggests that a person with Parkinson's can pedal faster and more smoothly when assisted by FES, likely because the added FES can enhance muscle force production and provided cueing via the sensation of the stimulation during cycling.

Therefore, FES-cycling, especially isokinetic FES-cycling with electric motor assistance, can provide a person with PD all the benefits of forced exercise, in addition to the traditional benefits of FES, which are:

  • Relaxation of muscle spasms
  • Prevention or retardation of disuse atrophy
  • Increasing local blood circulation
  • Maintaining or increasing range of motion

 

 

 

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  • 7731 W Newberry Rd Suite A2, Gainesville, FL 32606
  • (352) 354-2749
  • myolyn@myolyn.com

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