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Thread: Electrical stimulation on the abs & quad belly

  1. #1

    Electrical stimulation on the abs & quad belly

    I am a complete C4/5 quad, 10 years post-injury. I have been riding and FES bike regularly since 2005, mostly the RT300. Last year I added the extra channels on my RT300 (with the boxes) to be able to stimulate my core (stomach and back) while riding. I have no complaints about getting extra stimulation, though I haven't noticed any effects in my everyday life.

    One thing I have noticed is that my belly has been getting bigger. I have worn a support corset ever since initially going through rehab at Craig Hospital. Because of that, I didn't get much of a belly in the first 9 years after my injury. I'm trying to figure out if the change is because I'm 29 and the metabolism starts to slow down, or if it could be because of the stimulation?

    Without having any official training in exercise science, I hypothesized that since I don't wear my corset while riding the bike and my stomach is allowed to stretch out, the electrical stimulation is only contracting my muscles in the extended state, and this makes them more likely to stay stretched out (again, this is my hypothesis). Could there be any truth to this?

    If not, just tell me I'm getting old and I need to get used to getting fat.

  2. #2
    Haha, I don't know but can you tell me what corset you use?
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  3. #3
    I use one that was made in house at Hanger Prosthetics. It is a fabric corset that is fleece lined, so it's gentle on my otherwise bony body. Unfortunately, they has started making "turtle shell" corsets, which are nowhere near as forgiving. I am not looking forward to the day that my corset (and its back up) bite the dust…

  4. #4
    Ok, I know what you are talking about with both. I went through Hanger as well.
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  5. #5
    Well I don't wear a binder and have the quad belly. Something I had to get used to since I never had much of a belly my whole life. I'm in my 40's and was injured this time 2011.
    I use the FES bike with the abdomen and back RT50's. I can honestly say I am consuming more calories than I am expending. I used to be very active in my daily activities and worked out including running. If I thought I ate too much I would just workout harder.

    I need to loose my quad belly but being a T4 its really hard for me since my shoulders and elbows have been very sore probably from over use or maybe improper use.

  6. #6
    Quad bellies have more to do with gravity than fat although that can come into play. Because they are not used abs atrophy and your abdomen is left with a cover of skin and maybe some fat. It stretches so when you sit or stand your organs sink to the bottom and the skin/fat bulge. Corsets only prevent the bulge. They do not cure it. The rate atrophy occurs varies a good bit between individuals. For some, the quad belly develops quickly after the SCI but in others, it develops slowly.

    This thread might get a better response in the Exercise Forum
    Last edited by SCIfor55+yrs.; 04-23-2013 at 07:05 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Corey would be able to help you with this ... I know there's a thread around here somewhere. Looking for Mr Coffee and nmes.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  8. #8
    Thanks SCI55. I actually meant to post it in exercise, but I guess that "Equipment" looked too similar.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    I found out the more I used support the worse my stomach became although I wasn't a complete injury so it may not apply.

    Also if your abs can contract on an NMES unit I recommend e-stim. The estim I used was an empi focus unit. Be careful of burns though and if its not contracting don't keep increasing the intensity unless you check your skin often.
    Injured:10-16-04
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