Functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology is serving individuals all across the country with
neurological conditions in order to optimize their recovery. FES has been used for years to strengthen
weak muscles in individuals with neuromuscular impairments. Studies have demonstrated
improvements in blood flow, exercise capacity, body composition, metabolism and muscle mass. There are real benefits for cardiovascular health and other measures of health status. These improvements
promote neural recovery and functional gains in individuals who have had an injury or illness that
compromised their neuromuscular system.
The FES Bike is used by a wide variety of individuals including those with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease and those who have physical limitations after a stroke. The cycle can be used for the arms or the legs, but placement of electrodes is unique for every person and determined by a physical therapist. Since an individual’s muscles are activated by FES the user is actively performing work and experiencing the many health benefits of being physically active.
How Can You Access the FES Bike?
Individuals are first referred for a Physical Therapy evaluation and subsequent visits to help determine the appropriate set up and tolerance for FES. Once this has been determined, individuals are
transitioned into membership and can access the FES Bike through independent scheduling. FES Bike
users are monitored and assisted by medical program instructors at all times.
The money for the bike was graciously donated by the SCI CAN Foundation, which stands for, Spinal Cord Injury Christopher Anderson Norton. Christopher was a college football player for Luther College, when he was injured during a play. He was left with minimal chance of regaining movement below the neck. In his rehabilitation, he had the privilege of using an FES bike and attributes much of his progress to the use of this technology. He has created this foundation to be able to assist other have better access to FES bikes in the community.