Muscle Electrostimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation: Benefits and Effects

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The largest group in therapy using our products consists of neurological patients, especially those recovering from strokes. One of the proposed technologies in therapy is electrostimulation. Electrostimulation has been a known form of therapy for many years, applied in a wide range of ways. In physiotherapy, it is primarily used for the electrostimulation of skeletal muscles. The methodology of the procedure involves various forms of current application. Transcutaneous muscle electrostimulation appears to be a favorable solution as it is non-invasive and safe, enhancing patient comfort and reducing the risk of complications.

Electrostimulation offers numerous benefits and applications. Depending on the parameters, it induces contractions or reduces muscle tension, improves blood circulation, helps prevent or slow down muscle atrophy, and serves as a tool during neuromuscular reeducation. Studies indicate, among other things, the beneficial impact of electrostimulation on gait quality and upper limb motor improvement [1]. Electrostimulation, as one form of physical therapy, cannot be an independent form of rehabilitation but serves as excellent support for other methods – research confirms that therapy enriched with electrostimulation demonstrates higher effectiveness [2].

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) seems to be particularly beneficial, stimulating the contraction of several muscles in an organized manner, assisting in the execution of complex movements. If this stimulation is triggered by EMG signals, we can engage the patient to a greater extent – the impulse will then support the movement rather than perform it through passive muscles, regardless of the CNS. Attention is increasingly being paid to the possibilities of such exercises supported for brain plasticity [3]. Additionally, using EMG readings can be motivating for the patient when the device indicates muscle activity without a visible contraction.

Most muscle electrostimulation devices on the market use predefined programs based on research and tests. This allows for the application of this form of therapy even independently at home by the patient within the scope of telemedicine. It is an excellent way to maintain the effects of therapy between physiotherapy cycles or when the patient cannot participate in them for some time.

Certainly, it is worth considering the introduction of electrostimulation into the therapy of stroke patients. Devices offer increasing possibilities while maintaining safety standards. Patients generally tolerate and even enjoy electrostimulation procedures, which can further support the rehabilitation process.

  1. Functional Electrical Stimulation Improves Activity After Stroke: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis; Howlett OA, Lannin NA, Ada L, McKinstry C
  2. Effectiveness of upper limb functional electrical stimulation after stroke for the improvement of activities of daily living and motor function: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  3. Rewiring the Lesioned Brain: Electrical Stimulation for Post-Stroke Motor Restoration; Bao S, Khan A, Song R, Tonga RK
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