SPECIAL SECTION even go barefoot. Research demonstrates the positive physical difference that this change in modality creates – but, it is also important to acknowledge the psychological benefits. WalkAide is another new product for people living with restricted mobility, designed to restore the missing links that exist between nerve-to-muscle communications. WalkAide is an advanced medical device that provides immediate and dramatic improvement in walking difficulties caused by stroke, incomplete spinal cord or traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis. Interruption of the natural communication between the brain and the leg inhibits one’s ability to naturally lift the foot. WalkAide restores this lost communication by sending electrical signals to the peroneal nerve which controls movement in your ankle and foot. These gentle electrical impulses activate the muscles to raise the foot at the appropriate time during each step. The result is a smoother, more natural and safer walking motion. The quality of research and commitment to excellence demonstrated by AxioBionics offers a new level of hope to people living with any type of paralysis. 60 Innovative Health - Summer 2016 VARIOUS TYPES OF ELECTRICAL STIMULATION The practice of using electrical stimulation for medical purposes was originally used for athletes. It has been a proven tool for strength training and as a post-exercise recovery tool for healthy subjects. Results were so positive that further applications were sought. Its use in physical therapy has been in production over the past 20 years. In fact, AxioBionics designed one of its first “wearable therapy” garments for Christopher Reeve, after the accident which left him a quadriplegic. This technology is now used for partially or totally immobilized patients. TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL NERVE STIMULATION (TENS): This battery-powered device is used to relieve acute and chronic pain. Electrodes are attached to the skin and transmit electrical impulses which produce a mild tingling, tapping. or massaging sensation. TENS is effective because it interrupts the body’s pain impulses from the periphery to the central nervous system. This increases production of endorphins and improved blood supply to the affected part. NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION (NMES): This type of stimulation uses electrical impulses to provide physical assistance in Neurotrauma a variety of different areas. NMES causes adaptation or “training” of muscle fibers. Because of the variable characteristics of skeletal muscle fibers, different muscles can be activated to varying degrees by different types and patterns of NMES activity. These patterns, referred to as “protocols” or programs, cause unique responses from contraction of different muscle fiber types. Some programs improve fatigue resistance and endurance; others increase force production. This allows NMES to be used effectively to treat a broad range of issues. FUNCTIONAL ELECTRICAL STIMULATION (FES): AxioBionics designed one of its first “wearable therapy” garments for Christopher Reeve, after the accident which left him a quadriplegic This form of electrical stimulation uses low-energy electrical pulses to artificially generate body movements for people who have been paralyzed due to injury to their central nervous system. More specifically, FES can be used to generate muscle contraction in otherwise paralyzed limbs to produce functions such as grasping, walking, standing and bladder voiding. It differs from the other two in that it is used primarily as a short-term intervention. It helps the central nervous system of the individual “relearn” how to execute impaired functions, instead of making the patient dependent on neuroprostheses for the rest of his/her life. “ “ With WT, Drew’s body has been very well maintained with no loss of muscle since the injury took place 6 years ago.
Innovative Health Care Magazine
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