What is FES cycling?
FES cycling uses co-ordinated electrical stimulation to create a cycling pattern. This cycling pattern exercises the large muscles of the legs as running or cycling would do in a person who doesn’t have a spinal cord injury. The FES cycle at Neuromotion/Move is called the RT300. It is made by a company called Restorative Therapies. You can see more information about the cycle on the website: http://www.restorative-therapies.com/
How does it work?
An electrical current is passed through paralysed muscle causing it to contract. The electrical current uses the peripheral nerves to pass the current to the muscle (the peripheral nerves must be intact for a contraction to occur).
- Research has shown some positive benefits:
- Increase in bulk of stimulated muscles
- Increase in bone density in some leg bones
- Reduced body fat content
- Improved cardiovascular health (fitness training)
- Reduced risk of diabetes (improved glucose tolerance)
- Reduced spasticity in stimulated muscles
- Maintained flexibility
Feedback from people who use FES cycling:
- Feel happy seeing leg muscles contracting and exercising
- Feel healthy doing regular exercise
- For some people with very high injuries, FES cycling is the only way to exercise at an intensity that provides a fitness benefit