Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and its clinical use with our Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton
What is FES?
Functional Electrical Stimulation is a technique that makes use of low energy electrical impulses to artificially produce body movements in individuals who have been paralyzed due to some sort of Central nervous system insult. It aims to close the feedback loop within the central nervous system. It is aimed at individuals with spinal cord injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions causing lower extremity weakness.
The benefits of using FES?
- It allows earlier mobility.
- It can provide muscle stimulation to individuals who may already show signs of existing muscle activation.
- It increases the rehabilitation spectrum of individuals who can use it. (Pre-ambulatory to almost independent).
- When used in combination with the Exoskeleton, it provides muscle stimulation throughout the gait cycle, aiming to correct any muscle imbalances.
- We can utilise strength as well as endurance protocols in our walking programs, improving the depth of the therapy and experience.
Adjustability is one of the first practices in South Africa to be equipped with the FES component with our Exoskeleton. Our Biokineticists use it as a tool in our therapy, and we have seen the most benefits in combination with an exercise program.