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Thread: FES Bike and Exercise Equipment Qyestions

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Boston, MA USA
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    FES Bike and Exercise Equipment Qyestions

    Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of using an FES Bike. In preparation for going home, I'm looking to purchase some equipment for my husband so that we can try and maintain his body. Any other excercise equipment information would be greatly appreciated.

    The rehab that we are at doesn't have any FES equipment and the physical therapist isn't knowledgeable about it to explain to us.... I've read an article on the Stim Master sounds good but is it worth the money or is there another product with the same benefits.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    I use an FES bike twice a week. I believe it is very important to overall health and psyche. The bike I ride is an Ergys II. riding a bike will keep leg muscles and butt muscles normal sized. This is important to fight against pressure sores, not to mention skinny legs. I believe that they do not recommend riding until your injury is one-year-old, but I do not remember the rationale behind this. I work out on a weight machine for my upper body three times a week, and I believe you can do this right a way. I am a C6-7 complete quadriplegic that could not lift my arms over my head when I got out of rehab two years ago. Now I bench press almost 300 pounds and my legs are almost as big as they were before my accident. Psychologically, working out is beneficial. Physically, I am able to do more. When scientists figure out how to cure me, my muscles will be ready.

    let me know if you would like more info, I have done a lot of research and studying on various equipment and will be glad to help.

  3. #3

    Totally agree with you Kitch7

    I have had a similiar experience with FES. I currently use an Electrologic bike and it is awesome. It has really built up my Cardiovascular system and my self esteem in having a body that looks practically as if I don't even have an SCI. Now I really get a real lot of people asking why I am in wheelchair because I look like there is nothing wrong with my legs, thats the only drawback I can see. As Kitch said, if you have any questions on the Electrologic Orion model, feel free to contact me. Curtis

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  4. #4
    Does anyone know if there is a FES bike that runs on DC current. Since I am a T12/Complete/flaccid para, I can only get a contraction with a high-powered DC stim unit. AC current won't work. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Kitch

    Have you had full return of your triceps? It is amazing to me how much you can benchpress. Can you tell us more?

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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    Jeff, No I do not have full triceps and that is what is holding me back. I work on my triceps 2-3 times a week. Since I am a complete injury, I will not get anything back so my strategy is to make what is there stronger. I started with half pound weights doing triceps extensions and worked my way up. My arms look strong, however, a closer look at my triceps shows that I only have about half of the muscle (outside only). I do two or three different exercises for triceps as well as four different exercises for bench. (Inclined, declined, wide grip and flat bench.) I use a pyramid workout so I am lifting heavyweights at least once a week. I can't feel my chest, but the muscle is back. I use the Uppertone Quad Gym to work out. This machine is made for quads so that we can do a variety of lifts and change the weights with no help. Work hard, you will be surprised what you can do!

  7. #7

    FES bike

    Mccc2, since your husband is currently not in a SCI center, I would recommend that you wait on this until after discharge when you can get him to a SCI center to try out FES before purchasing. At his level, getting him transferred onto the bike will be difficult at best, and it can cause AD in some at higher levels.

    I would focus at this point in purchasing equipment that will make it easier and safer for you to manage his care at home (lifts, proper bed and mattress, proper wheelchair and commode, bathroom modifications, ramping and emergency exits from home, van, etc.) and plan to look into FES later. It is difficult to get insurance to pay for this at best...esp. if you already have an insurance company that will not let you take him to a proper SCI rehab center.

    Jan, FES is generally NOT recommended on flaccid muscles (lower motor neuron injuries) because such high current is needed to directly stimulate the muscle (due to non-functioning peripheral nerves) that burns and other local tissue damage is very likely.

    (KLD)

  8. #8

    Kitch7 and Curtis

    Does that FES bike really get your legs looking back to the way they where before injury? I thought it was probably a good exercise, but I didn't know it could actually build your legs back up. I think thats great!! It really makes me mad at how expensive they are. What about those bikes like the SCIFIT ProII? http://www.scifit.com/pro2.html
    Do you know if this would work at least half as well as the FES bike? Thanks guys.

  9. #9
    SCI-nurse: Thanks for your reply. Yes, I agree, skin burning is a risk with high-powered DC units. I have been using a Petrofsky 4010 DC unit for 5 or 6 years now. It is very beneficial to me, but I have to be careful and closely monitor the time. Since I have some sensation on my behind, it is very helpful in reducing soreness after sitting all day. I have been able to limit my time on the unit to 1/2 hour a day and still work all the lower muscle groups.

    By placing one pad on each shin, upper area outside of the bone, I am able to work all the muscles including the pelvic floor. From what I understand, this is the only pad placement which truly works the pelvic floor, other than inserting into the vaginal cavity. 15 minutes with this pad placement and another 7 on each buttock works very well for me, although it would be nice if I could use a bike and add resistance. The shin area does not seem very sensitive to burning like some other areas. For me, the butt and outside thighs are the most sensitive.

    Anyway, I have a real good feeling it won't be an issue for too much longer.

  10. #10

    User 2002

    Nope unfortunately that looks like a passive unit that will only move the legs up and down and not help to excersise the muscles as they are not getting any stimulus, might be good for the joints, but thats about it. Unfortunately the FES bikes are major league money, but the units really should more than likely last a lifetime and to me its worth it to keep my body in shape, even if the cure never comes, you just feel better when you are in a good excersise program and FES is about the only way a Para or Quad is going to excersise the paralyzed parts of their bodies. It does definately build up noticeable bulk on the muscles of the legs (quads, hams and Gluts) and makes you less likely to get pressure sores because of more padding on you're butt. You start noticing a difference within the first three months.

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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