Objectives Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is applied in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from upper motor neurone lesions. Delivery of electrical stimulation to the affected limb muscles is thought to result in muscle strengthening and reduction in muscle spasm. The present study evaluates the influence of a single FES treatment applied to the involved leg of hemiparetic patients, following a cerebrovascular accident. Methods A single FES treatment was delivered for 30 minutes to the paretic lower limb muscles of 12 patients. Standing sway and knee range of motion during gait were investigated, immediately before and after FES treatment. Results The symmetry of antero-posterior forces between both legs during standing improved significantly. The significant differences in range of motion between the paretic and sound knee during walking reduced, since FES treatment increased the affected knee range of motion from 34.5 ± 9° to 41.7 ± 7°. Conclusion. A single FES treatment applied to the affected leg muscles of hemiparetic patients improves standing balance and gait quality. This study supports the use of FES in rehabilitation of spastic hemiparetic patients.
- Functional electrical stimulation