Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

FES is a technique that uses low-intensity electrical impulses to artificially generate muscle contraction in weakened or paralysed muscles.

The body naturally uses electrical currents to make muscles move. Normally, when a part of the body needs to move, the brain sends electrical signals through the nervous system. The nerves, acting like electrical wires, send these signals to the muscles, telling them to contract. This contraction causes the body part to move.


After a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury some of these electrical signals don't work as well as they should. FES allows muscles that have been paralysed or partially paralysed to move again. When using FES as a treatment, an electrical current is applied to the skin over a nerve, or over the bulk of a muscle, which causes the muscle to contract.

We have a range of FES facilities at our Specialist Rehabilitation Centre in Cardiff and a team very experienced Neurological Physiotherapists who utilise FES as well as our other specialist equipment and facilities to offer the most appropriate treatment option to their patients. We have a Portable FES Unit which can be used to retrain arm and leg muscles to work during functional tasks including walking, sit-to-stand, stepping up/down, reaching with arm and lifting hand to mouth. We also have an FES Arm and Leg Cycle which can be used to improve / maintain strength, fitness and muscle bulk and joint range of movement and reduce pain and spasticity.


We are also able to offer advice on appropriate use of individual FES units to help with foot drop hand function.

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