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Thread: Can FES Bikes build muscle back?

  1. #1

    Can FES Bikes build muscle back?

    Did a search on the subject couldn't find much info. If legs are atrophied can FES Bikes build muscle back in legs? What are the benefits of FES as opposed to a Standing frame? Will insurance cover a standing frame before it covers a FES bike? Which of these are most beneficial to health? Lots of questions! Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    When a muscle is totally atrophied then it converted to a mass of fat and proteins. It depends on how far the atrophy is. It will take a lot of time and effort to build up the muscle with FES when the atrophy is in a late stage.

    A standing frame and a FES bike benefit in there own way. The stress on your joints are higher in a standing frame and you prevent possible arthrosis.

    Its also hard to answer your last question what is more beneficial to health but i guess its a standing frame because you are having a whole new posture as a wheelchair user and you can train your blood circulation in a passive way.Therefore i recommend you a standing frame.

    KK11

  3. #3

    FES/Standing frame

    I would agree, both have their benefits. Standing frame promotes natural posture and being vertical is how our bodies are built to function (ie the whole bowel thing).FES in conjunction with pedaling will promote muscle gains in the legs(especially if you have any firing of muscle naturally). Do both if time and money permit. I don't know your situation or injury I am incomplete and have seen many gains. I wish the same for you!!

  4. #4
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    Yes, and if you can FES is the most beneficial

    Yes, regular use of a FES bike (three times a week (every other day)), will restore muscle mass to the legs. My first experience was from 1986 to 1989 as part of one of the REGYS research programs. This was at Providence Hospital in Everett Washington. I started out as a 130 pound bird legged quad and in three years weighed 160 pounds and had the thighs of a track star (hey, my family told me so). The majority of weight was added to my butt and thighs. My calves saw a limited degree of improvement. When I started the program I was recovering from my first pressure sore at my right ischial. That added padding lasted me 20 years.

    In 2009, I was in the hospital for surgery and caught pneumonia, by the time I had recovered I had lost over 25 pounds, had the legs of a bird again, and a pressures sore in the same spot as 23 years earlier. In 2012, I found a gym called Pushing Boundaries in Redmond Washington offering FES therapy; they have the RT 300, and the ERGYS bikes. After six months of regular exercise on the RT300, I had added 1 inch to the diameter of my thighs. The new machines are more sensitive and can be used with more people. The calf muscles can be stimulated now, which I find especially rewarding. Their RT 300 also has a arm ergometer option. Using it once a week for a month restored use in my arthritic left shoulder and I no longer have any pain in it.

    There are number of other very important benefits from a regular FES exercise routine. First, a general improvement in health. I'm never ill while exercising regularly. Healthier skin and longer sitting time. It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. And, I sleep better at night.

    Regarding a standing frame/table a used one can be found for an affordable price, but before purchasing one have an evaluation done first. I myself find it too painful for my feet. After 5 minutes my feet hurt for a week.

    There's one other therapeutic tool to consider, vibration therapy. This is what the astronauts use on the Space Station to maintain bone density and muscle tone. The unit can be incorporated with a standing table. The gym I go too has one.

    As for insurance and coverage, I don't have a clue.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Awesome news. Thanks guys for the info. I'm 2 years post w/ a baclofen pump and my legs are already very small. Starting more rehab next week to try fes bike and standing frame. Only worried about BP and passing out since I haven't stood in so long. I have blood pressure medicine called midodrine and a binder for when I first start standing. Anything else that will help?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    Awesome news. Thanks guys for the info. I'm 2 years post w/ a baclofen pump and my legs are already very small. Starting more rehab next week to try fes bike and standing frame. Only worried about BP and passing out since I haven't stood in so long. I have blood pressure medicine called midodrine and a binder for when I first start standing. Anything else that will help?
    I would take the midodrine about 20min before standing, use the binder, and drink a lot of fluids/water. Start out small. You may only be able to tolerate a few minutes upright. It's ok, just work your way up to longer periods of time. I know you can wrap your legs with ace bandages too, but that's a lot of work. Watch your blood pressure with the fes bike as well. It could go high or low.
    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

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    Yes, regular use of a FES bike (three times a week (every other day)), will restore muscle mass to the legs. My first experience was from 1986 to 1989 as part of one of the REGYS research programs. This was at Providence Hospital in Everett Washington. I started out as a 130 pound bird legged quad and in three years weighed 160 pounds and had the thighs of a track star (hey, my family told me so). The majority of weight was added to my butt and thighs. My calves saw a limited degree of improvement. When I started the program I was recovering from my first pressure sore at my right ischial. That added padding lasted me 20 years.

    In 2009, I was in the hospital for surgery and caught pneumonia, by the time I had recovered I had lost over 25 pounds, had the legs of a bird again, and a pressures sore in the same spot as 23 years earlier. In 2012, I found a gym called Pushing Boundaries in Redmond Washington offering FES therapy; they have the RT 300, and the ERGYS bikes. After six months of regular exercise on the RT300, I had added 1 inch to the diameter of my thighs. The new machines are more sensitive and can be used with more people. The calf muscles can be stimulated now, which I find especially rewarding. Their RT 300 also has a arm ergometer option. Using it once a week for a month restored use in my arthritic left shoulder and I no longer have any pain in it.

    There are number of other very important benefits from a regular FES exercise routine. First, a general improvement in health. I'm never ill while exercising regularly. Healthier skin and longer sitting time. It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. And, I sleep better at night.

    Regarding a standing frame/table a used one can be found for an affordable price, but before purchasing one have an evaluation done first. I myself find it too painful for my feet. After 5 minutes my feet hurt for a week.

    There's one other therapeutic tool to consider, vibration therapy. This is what the astronauts use on the Space Station to maintain bone density and muscle tone. The unit can be incorporated with a standing table. The gym I go too has one.

    As for insurance and coverage, I don't have a clue.

    Good luck.
    Do you have any pics of the differences? I'm going to test this out with taking pics and measurements to see gains. I'm sure everybody responds differently to it.
    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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by november View Post
    Do you have any pics of the differences? I'm going to test this out with taking pics and measurements to see gains. I'm sure everybody responds differently to it.
    Sorry, I don't have any pictures. I measure my legs once a month. From what I witnessed, for people that can tolerate the FES stimulation, it will restore muscle mass. It's just a question of how much a person pushes them self. It takes dedication and time. As I recall, when I was part of the research program there were about 20 of us participating and every one regained healthy normal looking thighs. The older bikes didn't have a way of stimulating the calf muscles so they still looked depleted. I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve with the RT 300, as I mentioned previously it is sensitive enough to work the calves and other small muscle groups.

  9. #9
    Got in the standing frame today. Took midodrine in the morning and right before I stood. Ace wraps + binder. The therapist told me I wouldn't be able to stand all the way up without passing out. I was confident and feeling good so I said let's go all the way up. Was standing for about 30 seconds bc she had another appt. standing felt GREAT. Really hope my insurance will cover a glider.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    I'm 2 years post w/ a baclofen pump and my legs are already very small. Starting more rehab next week to try fes bike and standing frame. Only worried about BP and passing out since I haven't stood in so long.
    Start out slow and allow your body to become accustomed to standing again. Just remember good old common sense, if you start feeling lightheaded sit down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    I have blood pressure medicine called midodrine and a binder for when I first start standing. Anything else that will help?
    I thought the FDA banned midodrine due to its side effects. If you don't mind me asking, do you have a health problem why did they put you on midodrine, or is this a preexisting problem? Low blood pressure is common for a quadriplegic, mine ranges from 80/50 to 95/60 on average.

    It is recommended that quadriplegics and higher paraplegics wear an abdominal binder whenever they're up in their chair. You are obviously already aware of how it helps to maintain your blood pressure, but there are also some other very important reasons for wearing one. The correct a binder will also help you maintain proper posture. Without it there is a high probability that a quadriplegic will develop a curvature of the spine while sitting. This in turn causes a person to sit unevenly and eventually compromise the skin. The binder also prevents your internal organs from shifting from your upper chest cavity to your belly. You may have noticed that older SCI people have a large appearing belly. Besides being a less flattering figure, the shift in your organs puts pressure on the bladder making it difficult to drain while sitting upright. In my opinion, the best choice in binders are the models with the stays in the back for lumbar support.

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