Functional electrical stimulation

Functional elctrical stimulation

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) devices are used to stimulate your muscles or nerves causing the muscles to contract. The devices can be used if you have difficulty moving and using one or more limbs due to a compromise of your nervous system.

Our FES services

FES at home exercise

FES for home exercise enables you to continue the rehabilitation exercises at home. There is a range of devices available and our experienced team can provide advice and guidance on your suitability.

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FES for drop foot

Drop foot occurs when there is a weakness or disfunction in the muscles which help to raise your foot. FES is commonly used to stimulate these muscles to reduce the risk of tripping and falls. The timed impulses of small electrical stimulations enable a smooth walking pattern.

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FES for lower limb application

FES can be used for a variety of lower limb applications. The electrical stimulations can be targeted and adjusted to stimulate specific muscles or groups of muscles.

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FES for upper limb application

There are number of applications for the use of FES for upper limb weakness or difficulties for example to assist with motor control or to support with shoulder subluxation. FES devices for upper limb application can be worn as a long term device or can be used as part of a rehabilitation programme.

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The MyGait device is a lower limb FES device designed to be used where there is a weakness in the dorsiflexor muscles within the leg or where the user has drop foot.

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FES uses electrodes placed upon the skin to conduct small electrical signals to the nerves of the affected area. This signal causes the muscle to contract and enables the user to produce a more normalised movement. FES can be used as a short term solution as part of a rehabilitation programme to help increase muscle strength and power or it can be used for longer term assists in place of other orthotic devices.

If you are unsure if a FES device would be suitable option for you please contact us to discuss.

What conditions are FES devices often used for?

FES devices require both the nerve and the muscle to be undamaged to allow signals to travel and be received, consequently FES is often used for the following conditions:

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Loss of muscle function following stroke
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson’s
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Orthopaedic conditions causing muscle weakness

This list of conditions is not exhaustive. If you are unsure if you would be suitable for a FES device please contact us to discuss.

Unfortunately FES devices are not suitable for conditions affecting the lower motor neurones including:

  • Peripheral nerve lesions
  • Polio
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

What are the benefits of a FES device?

FES devices can provide a variety of benefits including:

  • Prevention of muscle atrophy
  • Possible increase in muscle bulk
  • Reduced spasticity
  • Increased blood flow
  • Improved functional rehabilitation
  • Improved walking pattern
  • Improved limb mobility and function

There are many benefits using a FES device to find out more please contact us to discuss.

What is the process to be receive a FES device?

The process to receive FES device would be:

  • Assessment
  • Measuring
  • Fitting
  • Review

The primary aim of the assessment is to establish suitability for a FES device. To achieve this your orthotist will use a trial device on your affected area to see whether your muscles and nerves respond appropriately to the stimulation. Some patients find the stimulation causes uncomfortable sensations or the electrodes may irritate and for these reasons do not feel FES is the right device for them. If this is the case our orthotists can provide information about other devices available.

If it is decided that a FES device will be suitable for your needs your orthotist will ensure correct fitting of the device and you will be advised of a treatment programme. We are able to provide physiotherapy to work within the treatment programme to ensure you get the most out of your device.

How do I arrange an assessment for a FES device?

To get in touch or arrange an appointment, you can call us at 0330 088 3949 or email

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