Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

Side Effects or Risks?

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a technique that uses low energy electrical pulses to generate muscle contraction and body movements in individuals who have been paralyzed due to injury to the central nervous system. It can be used to retraining functions such as grasping, reaching and walking.

Individuals with the following diagnosis may benefit from a trial of FES: Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke (CVA), Acquired Brain Injury, and Other Neurological conditions.

Electrodes could cause skin irritation, however this is not common and non-latex hypoallergenic electrodes can be used. Some types of electrical stimulation could become uncomfortable, however this can be adjusted through the level of current. There is a risk of pink marks being left on the skin which usually fade within the hour. Very rarely, FES could increase spasticity. In some cases FES should not be used for individuals including those with epilepsy, cardiac pacemakers, cancer, hypersensitivities or skin conditions in the area of treatment. 

How Many Treatment Sessions?

A typical trial of FES is a few times per week for 6 weeks. Although many individuals will continue to use FES for several years. 

Is FES for me?

A Physiotherapist can complete a comprehensive assessment to help determine if FES is right for you. To book an assessment call LV Physiotherapy at 905-682-5119