By Adam Poulter – Specialist Physiotherapist.
Foundations Physio have recently started offering Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) assessments and treatment sessions in your own home, having recently attended an FES course in Salisbury I thought it useful to write a short piece on the benefits of FES.
FES uses a low dose electrical current to stimulate the nerves and muscles in a certain limb to make them contract. Its most commonly used to treat foot drop for people suffering with neurological conditions such as MS, stroke, brain injury, spinal injury (T12 or above), Cerebral Palsy and some other conditions affecting the nerves or muscles. The machine can be tailored specifically to your walking pattern and all the timings can be altered to help you achieve an improved gait. The device can then be set you your needs and can be used throughout the day to without the need to adjust any of the settings, allowing you to walk for longer and reducing the risk of tripping or falling.
FES can also be used on exercise mode to help rehabilitate weak muscles, we often use it with stroke or brain injured patients as part of a wider program to work on the affected upper limb or lower limb. As part of our service we often loan the machine to you for a short period and can refer onwards for assessment and provision within the NHS services in your area.
As a team we are always looking to expand the services we can offer our clients to help keep our interventions evidence based and up to date and gain the best possible outcomes for the people we support.
The kit we use is from Odstock Medical, more information can be found on their website (www.odstockmedical.com).
To find out more about our FES service or to book an assessment with one of our team, get in touch via the contact page.
As a Physiotherapist I treat the elderly and people with neurological conditions, I am always getting asked questions like “will this really help?”, “Is this good for me?” or “What exercises should I be doing?” The answer to these questions will always depend on who is sitting in front of me, however the general answer to most the these questions is “Yes, exercise is very good for you, it will help and that exercise should always be enjoyable”, that being said, there are some exercises you may not be able to do (that’s where a trained physiotherapist can help!).