Functional electrical stimulation (FES) for neural lesions
FES plays an important part in the therapy of paralysed muscles in (partial) denervation after nerve damage/neural lesions. Stimulating muscles as early as possible and ensuring a structured approach can have a positive effect on patients' movement skills at a later stage.
Nerve regeneration, muscle strengthening, and support for the training of everyday movements
The treatment of denervated muscles differs from the therapy of innervated muscles in terms of current form, frequency, and pulse width. The muscle can be stimulated directly using the STIWELL in the case of marked denervation. However, the stimulation may change over time due to several factors. The goal is to maintain muscle function until nerves are regenerated. Functional training with EMG-triggered programmes (independently triggered stimulation) can be applied with increasing reinnervation in the course of the healing process.
Added benefits of therapy with the STIWELL
Stimulating denervated muscles at low frequencies not only helps to strengthen them, but also promotes their reinnervation (Gordon & English 2016). Maintaining and improving the structure of muscle tissue is also important, apart from building up pure muscle mass. Muscle stimulation, which causes the muscle to both contract and stretch, has been shown to counteract fibrosis and accumulation of adipose tissue (Kern et al. 2010).
STIWELL user stories
"I fell from a horse onto a sharp edge and severed my humerus (subcapital humeral fracture)... I was using the STIWELL daily, and it stimulated my muscles so well that today - 5 months after the accident - I can lift my arm almost as high as before. This would not have been possible without the device..."
Gordon, T., & English, A. W. (2016). Strategies to promote peripheral nerve regeneration: electrical stimulation and/or exercise. European Journal of Neuroscience, 43(3), 336-350.
Kern, H., Carraro, U., Adami, N., Biral, D., Hofer, C., Forstner, C., Mödlin, M., Vogelauer, M., Pond, A., Boncompagni, S., Paolini, C., Mayr, W., Protasi, F., & Zampieri, S. (2010). Home-based functional electrical stimulation rescues permanently denervated muscles in paraplegic patients with complete lower motor neuron lesion. Neurorehabilitation and neural repair, 24(8), 709-721.