Your questions, answered
Q. How do I get the best settings of stimulation for myself?
A. Each client is set up by one of our FES cycling experts and given a unique seven-digit ID number. Regular reviews can then take place to maintain parameters that are right for you and help you to achieve your goals.
Q. How do I know I’m not doing too much?
A. Each unique programme has a period of passive support, then the motor assistance turns off and if your muscles don’t have capacity to continue, the intelligent sensors in the FES cycle detect fatigue and turn off FES so as not to overburden the muscles.
Q. Is the FES cycle continuously supporting me by passively moving my legs?
A. No, the active input from FES cycling is always being measured and even when the ‘support’ is in progress the FES cycle can tell you if you are doing the work or if the motor is ‘supporting’ you. Additionally, when the ‘support’ phase is over the motor is programmed to act as an electronic inertia wheel.
Q. How can I progress my training?
A. The software in the FES cycle intelligently progresses each client so each session is analysed and automatically advanced to the next stage in the exercise programme. FES cycling experts can also constantly review your settings to make sure you are heading in the right direction.
Q. How do I get into the best position for FES cycling?
A. The adjustable legs on the FES cycle can be raised or lowered to the desired position. It’s vital that optimum FES cycling position is gained as overstretching can cause hip problems. Many passive bikes do not have this ability but FES cycling therapy cannot progress if you are not positioned correctly.
Q. Does the functional electrical stimulation hurt?
A. If your sensory function is completely intact; the FES cycling parameters will have to be adjusted so that you can tolerate the electrical impulses. Our FES cycling experts will adjust all of these parameters for you. Then, remotely, via the secure internet protocol, they can increase or lower each channel individually as you adapt to the stimulation.
Q. Can FES cycling actually make me walk?
A. FES cycling provides a way to stimulate muscles that have no voluntary control. Some clients using FES cycling may have the chance to strengthen muscles and reduce spasticity to such a level that voluntary control enables them to stand, and possibly walk. Many of our customers have gone on to do this but it must be stressed that FES is not a miracle cure and those with no function due to a ‘complete’ spinal cord injury would primarily use FES cycling as an exercise programme to increase their fitness levels.
Q. Is FES an approved method of therapy?
A. Yes, FES cycling has been approved by an American clinical body, the FDA, for home therapy and is CE certified. FES cycling is not a new therapy but Restorative Therapies, who manufacture the systems we provide, were the first company to gain FDA recognition for home FES therapy.
Q. Why is the internet used to store data?
A. The use of the internet to store client profiles, sessions and programmes gives us, and our customers, endless benefits. The immediate benefit to the user is that their profile can be remotely accessed by an FES cycling expert and adjusted, reviewed or reported on.
In a clinical environment, each FES cycling patient can have their own settings stored, removing unnecessary paperwork. Each patient can be reviewed by therapists and consultants and if necessary, progress reports can be printed to show improvements to potential funders. The use of the internet is not a security risk as no patient data is transferred. The information transmitted via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is binary and hexadecimal coded and is protected by secure servers.
Q. I have a C0 tetraplegic patient. How do I ensure I’m not pushing them too hard?
A. We have the ability to attach a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation and heart rate, which plots directly on to bio mechanical information graphs. We also work very closely with respiratory consultants, physiotherapists and spinal consultants to understand the demands and best programmes of exercise for very high cervical injuries.
Q. I get very strong contractions in my muscles, how do I stop the FES cycle moving away?
A. The systems have chair restraints as a standard feature. We realise that most clients produce enough power to move the chair and FES cycle around, so we don’t charge extra for this.
Q. I hear that it is crucial to get the body position right, how do you do this?
A. Depending on the height length and angle of your chair, you may find that in the bike’s lowest position, a cycling pattern is very jerky. To make a smooth pattern possible, which optimises performance and progress, the systems have four adjustable legs, an adjustable radius of cycling and an adjustable length frame so that the FES cycle fits your pattern perfectly.
Q. The RT300 uses the internet to upload therapy sessions. Do I have to do this?
A. No, the idea of sending data to the secure server is that the FES cycling experts at Restorative Therapies and Cyclone Technologies can make your use of the FES cycle more productive. This is entirely optional.
Q. If I don’t use the internet, how does the RT300 operate?
A. We simply install the FES cycle and programme it to not use the remote database. The FES cycle then operates as a stand-alone device and does not upload information to the secure server.