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Thread: Electronic stimulation bike and recovery

  1. #1

    Electronic stimulation bike and recovery

    Hello everyone,

    I am six months post injury and a C5 incomplete. I used an FES bike while down at the Shepherd Center a few times and I have now gained access to one once again. For those of you who have never heard of an FES bike, it is a bike in which electrodes are attached to your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Each muscle is stimulated at certain times so that your legs actually peddle the bike. You can reduce or raise the amount of stimulus applied to the muscles and then the machine keeps track of the amount of stimulus you're using through a percentage which is displayed on the screen. I am told that most people who use an FES bike have to use high levels of stimulus and the percentage usually goes straight to 100%. The bike is also programed to cut off if the muscles are not reacting strongly enough to the stimulus. With the amount of stimulus that I have been using the percentage of stem being used rarely reaches 100% and usually sits around 85 or 90. If I raise the amount of stimulus this percentage goes down. I usually have no problem with the machine cutting off and most always make it to the 30 minute limit. So my therapist and I are very pleased with how the use of the bike is going. I was wondering if there is anyone out there who can share their experiences with this type of equipment and if the experiences have any similarities to my own? I would also like to know if anyone has ever heard of research that has been done using the FES bike that shows substantial recovery has developed because of using the bike on a regular basis? I have slight abductor and abductor movement in both legs and I plan on using the bike at least twice a week. I am hoping and praying that this will increase my chances of further recovery. Any comments about the situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    I am moving this post over to the Exercise forum and locking it here. You will get more responses over there.


  3. #3
    Well first of all let me say HELLLLLOOO there Charlotte!! I'm also from the Charlotte area, so I know the rehab youre going to and I rode their FES bike. They have or had the Ergy's bike when I was there 4.5 years ago. My PT always had to barely help me by pushing with one finger on the pedals so I'd keep up and it wouldnt shut off. After my PT was up I bought my own FES bike (The StimMaster)..whoa there is such a huge difference and a more positive one! It's stimulus regulates itself and you can actually tell what is going on. So I know if I hit 99% stimulus and my rate I'm pedaling (dont know the word or abbrev right off hand) hits below times out and goes into the cool down mode. If I used my hands to help push my legs and keep it above 36 and lower my % down below the 99, my leg muscles get a quick break from being stimulated as strong. I'll give them that quick break and continue using my hands for a couple of minutes and then turn it back over to my legs. I can set the total ride up to 60min, but b/c I cant get on a regular riding routine, my leg muscles arent prepared for that yet. When I start a routine, at first I help my legs periodically thru a 30min workout. After riding 2-3 times one week my leg muscles are ready to ride the full 30min on their own and the stimulus stays around 35. I should increase my resisitance, but instead I try to increase my time of workout. Right now, I have it set for 40min rides.

    Email me, I think you're probably working with the same PT I had. She's sweet and she'd know my name if you just said it to her. I'd come by and tell you about my bike compared to their's(if their's is still the Ergy's) and that therapist loves to hear what I'm up to and all the stuff I've read and learned now.

    Also, I've started a Singles' Group for SCI and TBIs. The majority of the group is TBIs so we need more SCIs! There is a total of 3 of which walks with one brace. He's 20 something years post and a great inspiration. The other SCI is married and 2 years post (he's just now started mentoring at that rehab). He was a c7 injury but has recovered up to the T2 or T3 level. I'm a T6 complete injury, no recovery.

  4. #4
    Member Nurse Donna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Livingston, TN, USA
    Sweetieheart and Madcolin,

    My son Joshua is a C6 & C7 complete. I would love for him to get an FES bike. He goes to college through Voc Rehab and is on TennCare. Please email me with info on how you paid for the bike. We live in Livingston, Tennessee and travel to see Joshua Dad in Winston Salem, Nc quite often.

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