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Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a treatment modality used by specialist physiotherapists to increase muscle activity in individuals who have a neurological condition. FES is used to strengthen muscles and can significantly improve your ability to carry out functional activities such as walking or using your upper limb to wash and dress.

FES uses electrical impulses to stimulate the muscles and cause them to contract. The electrodes can be worn most places on the body, depending on which muscles you would like to strengthen.

Physiotherapist applying Functional Electrical Stimulation pads to ankle flexor musclesAbove: Physiotherapist applying Functional Electrical Stimulation pads to ankle flexor muscles

For example, if you would like to improve the speed of your walking or the distance you are able to walk, FES can be worn on the lower limb to help with this. Often, weakness in the lower limb causes difficulty pulling toes up towards the sky when walking. This causes dragging of the foot on the ground or swinging the leg out to the side. FES can stimulate and strengthen the muscles which pull your toes up and help to improve the efficiency, speed and appearance of your walking pattern.

FES can also be worn on the upper limb to improve your ability to carry out functional tasks such as washing, eating and drinking and personal care. Your physiotherapist will assess your upper limb for areas of weakness and will determine the optimal position for the electrodes. For example, you may need the FES to lift your arm from the shoulder or you may need help with the grasp and release of an object. FES can be worn whilst you are practicing the functional task or it can be strengthening your muscles while you are resting in front of the television.

At, our specialist physiotherapists are specifically trained in the use of FES equipment and are able to explore the advantages of FES for every individual with a neurological condition.

If you would like to find out more about Functional electrical stimulation please contact us today by calling 0330 088 7800 to speak to a specialist neurological physiotherapist or to make an appointment.You can also use our online booking system to book appointments online.

You can also use the following links to find out more information on FES:

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