Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)The FES Team aims to improve bone density in the lower limbs of spinal cord injury patients, using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) assisted weight bearing exercises. The stimulation will be externally controlled to produce coordinated and predetermined movements capable of sufficiently loading the bone. These exercises will be performed within a novel smart standing frame, capable of measuring forces involved in the movement. We aim to improve the enjoyability of the exercise with the application of exercise based gaming.

According to statistics from charities such as Every Eight Hours and Spinal Research, there are an estimated 40,000 spinal cord injured people in the UK and a new person is injured every eight hours. Many primary causes of death are now no longer direct results of spinal cord injury but are conditions linked to age and inactivity. This means that there are long-term demands on medical support; in particular, treatment of osteoporotic bone fractures often results in lengthy spells in hospital for individuals with spinal cord injury. It is therefore important to minimize the effect of osteoporosis after spinal cord injury; this highlights the need for exercise programmes to target bone health.

Information for volunteers

We are always looking for people with spinal cord injury to be involved in a number of aspects of this research study, including participants for FES exercise intervention studies. If you would like to register your interest to be involved in the research please email c.shackleton@reading.ac.uk.

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