The Performance of Aerobic Exercising by Spinal Cord Injury Patients Through the Application of Functional Electrical Stimulation
Evoking a muscular response using Functional Electrical Stimulation onto paralyzed muscles will allow patients with spinal cord damage at the level of C4-L1 to perform aerobic and strengthening exercise training. The provoked activity will improve body strength, body composition, mitigate disuse atrophy, and enhance cardiopulmonary function.
The study designs included case report, case control, case series, pre-clinical and post-clinical intervention and outcomes measure, clinical trial, prospective cohort study, cross-sectional, and longitudinal repeated measures design. The statistical methods and methods of data analysis used were ANOVA, ASIA impairment scores, α level and p-value, mean ± standard error, r2, Student paired t-test, PASW statistics, Spearman rank correlation coefficient, Mann-Whitney U test, regression analysis, and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
The outcome of the study showed an increase in muscle thickness, strength, and lean muscle mass. There was improvement in oxygen consumption, positive effect on cardiorespiratory functioning, metabolic activity, and a slight increase in bone density. Subjects were able to perform more intense exercising as the training regime had progressed.
The significance of these findings shows a potential way to improve the health of subjects with spinal cord injury, but also to recover and eventually regain the use of the muscles that were once paralyzed. Functional electrical stimulation therapy will introduce physical activity to a population that is normally found to be inactive.
Keywords: Functional electrical stimulation, spinal cord injury, FES-cycling, FES-rowing, rehabilitation, exercise training
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