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Thread: Can FES Bikes build muscle back?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    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.
    Thanks. Was it hard for you to tolerate it...if so, why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Southpaw View Post
    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.
    That's great! Sometimes I have to go up and down several times in one session because my blood pressure drops and I feel crappy. I figure something is better than nothing. There are times I'm up for 20+min and others that I probably don't last a min.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    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.

    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.
    Midodrine is still on the market. I have to use it. Fluids and a binder aren't enough at times. My bp is probably 80/50 or 95/60 WITH midodrine. That's a decent bp on me. It's normally lower which is ok unless I'm symptomatic such as faint/dizzy/shortness of breath/overall exhausted feeling.
    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

  2. #12
    No health problems. I asked the doc for midodrine and he prescribed it. Must not be banned.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Dodge City, KS
    Quote Originally Posted by november View Post
    Thanks. Was it hard for you to tolerate it...if so, why?
    It's all a question of how much sensation a person still has. I'm generally fine riding the bike. I am a C5/6 and the sensation in my lower extremities is deep so the electrical stimulation doesn't bother me there. However, I do have partial sensation in the shoulders and parts of the arm where the electrodes are placed. Because of this, we have to ramp the stimulation up slowly. At first it actually feels nice but it can get very uncomfortable. I have the settings for my arms set lower than my legs, yet, there are times that when it reaches 100% it feels like having your finger in a light bulb socket multiplied by 10. It can really hurt. In sensitive areas electrode placement is very important.

  4. #14
    I have used my Ergys 2 bike approximately 3 times a week for 26 years. The only periods of time I had to stop was during my 3 pregnancies. During those times I lost significant muscle mass but I was always able to build it back. I love my bike and I have been extremely healthy since my SCI. I like the standing frame to improve bone density and increase core strength. The bike is my favorite because of the cardiovascular workout!

  5. #15
    I don't really visit here as much as I should. I actually came on here to see if there was any information on hand e-stimming devices since Bioness is not supporting my device after July.

    I will speak strictly from experience. No medical knowledge. I have an Ergys. My first ride was 8 minutes long and my pulse was crazy. Can't remember the numbers, but it was crazy. I ride for two hours now. 60 minutes at low resistance, high cadence usually get around 11 miles. Following 60 minutes at the maximum resistance the bike allows me, this changes a little because of age of electrodes, electrode placement and I'm sure a bunch of reasons only the gremlins know. Usually get another 3-3.5 miles, but it is at a heavy load. My feet often hurt when I'm finished. I do this every-other day, mostly 3 times a week.

    I recently hung up a simplified highway map of the U.S. so I can track my ride distance in a more visual form. I agree with all the benefits described here. There is a brain thing that happens that totally trumps all of these benefits, I'm sure someone can tell you about endorphins, I was a boiler plant technician, I'll just say it makes you feel better, a lot better.
    please . . .test what you already know; and give us what you have. we may not be dying, but we certainly are not living either

  6. #16
    Try coffee or Mountain Dew before standing instead of prescriptions. I found that it's easier titrate and overall better for your body. Drink water with every cup of coffee.

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