Functional Electrical Stimulation

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is the application of small electrical stimulation pulses through surface electrodes in order to elicit muscle contractions in an orchestrated manner. If performed correctly these muscle contractions result in functional movements which can be used for therapeutic interventions and to supplement lost functions.

In the context of neuroplasticity, FES can be used to train lost movement patterns, thereby actively supporting the brain in the process of relearning these functions. An active participation of the patient is key for a successful rehabilitation. One example of how this can be achieved is by the use of residual EMG-activity, a small finger switch or other sensor systems, such as a bend sensor attached to the finger or a dynamic intensity control unit.