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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Electrical Stimualtion is helping "some" to walk better with MS

Information provided by Laurence Robb from the UK

MS can affect the ability to lift the foot clear of the ground leading to the risk of tripping and falling, or requiring the person to swing the legs out to “hitch” the hip in order to walk more easily. This can result in back pain and leg stiffness and makes walking even harder. Some people who have MS are unable to feel sensations through the feet so they “are never sure where their feet are”! Yet others may find that getting around using a wheelchair is easier and preserves their energy better, so although they can walk short distances or move around at home, walking to do a supermarket shop or to pick up youngsters from school is just too hard and tiring.

Recently, functional electrical stimulation has been introduced to help people with particular types of walking problems. Functional electrical stimulation devices, fitted to the leg just below the knee, provide small electrical impulses that stimulate muscle movements at just the right point in the walking action, lifting the foot clear of the ground.

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