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What do you know about electrical stimulation for spinal cord injuries?

Books – Rania Amer

Saturday, March 25, 2023 05:00 AM

People who have had an injury can benefit from it spinal cord of functional electrical stimulation as part of the rehabilitation process. This treatment uses computer technology to send low-level electrical impulses to specific muscles in your legs, arms, hands or other areas. Electrodes are placed on the nerves and stimulate the nerves so that they can perform activities such as walking or riding a stationary bike. realsimple

Electrical stimulation can cause your muscles to contract, and this may stimulate an increase in muscle mass or muscle control. Muscular activity may also help reduce muscle spasms.

Functional electrical stimulation improves the following:

range of motion

Muscle size and strength

Functional use of hands, arms or legs

Circulation and heart health

Aerobic conditioning and general fitness

The ability to prevent bone density loss

Functional electrical stimulation is often used in combination with other treatments, exercise programs, and education. Your treatment goals may include improving how you perform your daily activities and developing a wellness program that you can use at home.

And now, a nerve stimulation treatment developed by scientists in Columbia is showing promise in animal studies and may eventually allow people with spinal cord injuries to regain function in their arms.

“The stimulation technology targets the connections of the nervous system that have survived injuries, enabling them to take over some of the lost functions,” says Karmel, MD, a neurologist at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian.

And in recent years, some landmark studies on electrical stimulation of the spinal cord have allowed a small number of incompletely paralyzed people to begin standing and taking steps again.

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Karmel’s approach differs because it targets the arm and hand and because it combines stimulation of the brain and spinal cord, with electrical stimulation of the brain followed by stimulation of the spinal cord. He says: When the two signals converge at the level of the spinal cord, within about 10 milliseconds of each other, we get the strongest effect, and this combination seems to enable the remaining connections in the spinal cord to take over.