Pedaling Your Way to Fitness with FES Cycling

Available at our Northampton Clinic.

It is challenging for individuals with Neurological Conditions to maintain health and fitness. This can be due to either partial or complete loss of movement in the lower and/or upper limbs. If you have partial or complete loss of movement, then the answer may lie in Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Cycling. Getting a beneficial workout improves the health of your heart and lungs, rebuilds your muscles, helps with weight management and even reduces spasticity.

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) delivers a small electrical current to a nerve via sticky pads placed on the skin. The stimulated nerve in turn activates the muscles that it supplies. When this is coupled with a power-assisted static bike, coordinated muscle contractions can be achieved that are capable of producing strong pedal strokes sufficient to perform a cycling action.

Clinical research has demonstrated the following benefits:

  • Increased muscle strength and bulk, which can help with prevention of pressure sores
  • Maintenance of muscle length and joint mobility
  • Relaxation of muscle spasms
  • Increased local blood circulation
  • Improved bladder and bowel function
  • Improved mood and well-being

The benefits are not limited to leg muscles. FES cycling can also stimulate the back muscles, stomach muscles and arm muscles. By stimulating the back and stomach muscles, you can improve your posture and potentially your ability to cough more effectively. To acquire and maintain these benefits you must commit to FES cycling as a leisure activity in its own right.

FES Cycling would be beneficial if you have:

You will also need a sufficient range of movement in your upper or lower limbs to accommodate the cycling motion. Your skin must be intact without open wounds or pressure sores, in the areas where the electrode pads will be placed.

Following an initial assessment and setting of the amount of stimulation required, you can build up your exercise tolerance gradually, with up to 45-60 minutes daily. You should aim to cycle for a minimum of three times per week and up to 5-6 times per week, to achieve optimum results.

I enjoy being on the bike as it feels like my muscles are working and gaining strength. Plus I enjoy the cardio exercise.

Client, Northampton, PhysioFunction Ltd

FES bikes are available for purchase, lease hire or use on an hourly rate at our clinic in Northampton. To find out more about the FES Bike or how we can help you please click the link to contact PhysioFunction or call our Client Services Team on 0800 043 0327