An arm recovery stroke advance? @fightingstrokes

Ever since my own discharge from hospital in 2010, I was convinced that electrical stimulation (ES) was in part responsible for helping restore life to my paralysed left arm.

I was sure my totally ‘paralysed-but-with-sensation’ left arm responded well to the experimental ES treatment I received. I believed it actually helped REWIRE my brain.

It got me thinking, ‘Just think if it was offered to all suitable stroke survivors & was applied early, frequently and repetitively enough, then more people could restore arm function post any type of stroke.

ES (not to be confused with functional electric stimulation FES) or a high powered, inexpensive TENS type machines are usually available over the counter and could make a ‘Neuroplasticity difference’ I think.

Furthermore, can ES perhaps reduce pain and contractures too? We need proper stroke recovery initiatives, not just stroke prevention marketing messages.

In the 3.5 years running my charity – Fighting Strokes – I am more convinced than ever by this technology after looking back over all my Facebook comments:

I used TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) on my right arm also as this is my weaker side.’ Allison O’ Reilly, 52 Brainstem Stroke survivor diagnosed and recovered from locked in syndrome.

‘We use a microstim (Oddstock medical) on the arms which has helped.’ Paul Pickford Brainstem stroke and locked in survivor

‘My mum is having it on her forearm and it is helping.’ Steven Cassidy Son of a stroke survivor

‘Husband uses it on his hand and arm to keep his muscles strong. And yes, it does seem to help. He had stalled out and didn’t seem to be making any more progress with his hand. His coordination is improving and he seems to be getting stronger.’ Marlys Williams & wife of stroke survivor

Kati van de hoeven
I have maybe couple years after the stroke .Once a week for 6 months .In MY case it didnt help much but I know people who have found help from that so I say go for it.

Jessica Sarkis Congleton
My sister is having this on her arms, legs, shoulders and for facial muscles. She has regained movement in the right side of her body and her left facial muscles are getting better.

David T Bickal
i did for a long time successfully

Joanne Marie LaCombe
They used in on my brother’s right arm daily when he was in the hospital. And only sporadically on his left arm even though it was the weaker side. They now use it only occasionally on his left arm in outpatient therapy.

Sharon Oneal
I use it on my arm at physical therapy

Missy Dunn
I love it. Use it on my arm and leg. Even for my swollowing. Help me alot. Still use it in OT

Lisa Rathburn
It worked wonders for me used it for my arm and now I can move my figures and turn my hand over it took a few weeks but I can use my right hand some now.

Jeff Cecil
I used it in Rehad until insurance quit paying I should have bought it Yes I am a firm believer and do think it did make a difference. Im not 100 percent maybe 40, but believe it helped me get to that point

Han Wah
the therapist use it on my mum’s arm and leg. She can’t really tell if this get her recover amazingly, because at the same time, she is taking some supplement and she practice a lot what the therapist teach her, while she at home.

Karen Kelly-Stanton
I use it I’m at helps to keep the spasms down myself and I’m didn’t unfreeze my hand or anything

Zory Escobar
I use it and it works

Rona Morris
I have FES wish I’d got it earlier tho

Patti Wilkinson
Yes, it helps the pain and movement in my left shoulder.

Ray Hemphill
I bought a device called biomove that really senses what you are trying to do and takes it from there

Indigo Flemming-Powers
loved it! had it mostly on arms and face (swallowing & speech). I actually have a unit that I just started using myself.

Holly hales Carson
I have a Bioness for my left arm. It didn’t restore movement for me, but sensation. I no longer use it and am hoping to sell it. I used it 2 hours a say for about a year and a half. I tried both Bioness and Walkaide on my leg and the Walkaide is the best, for me. It allows more shoe options. I had some surgeries that improved my foot and leg that I decided I didn’t need one.

Nicky Collison
I have used a little tens machine on my wrist to get it to come back which worked well x

JennyHarris
i tried the fes and it never worked for me but i have heard of alot of success stories

Connie Phipps
e-stim on my hand for 3 weeks, e-stim on my face for 6 months – it helped so much that i think it should be a standard treatment.

Chris L
It works, I bought my own on amazon

Beet Reitsmer
E stim will work very well to assist wrist extension in an otherwise useful arm if there is not too much spasticity-it will produce a functional grip and eventually overcome the flexor tone in many cases. It needs to be used right. It can also help extension of the elbow. Walkaid often helps a lot if there is not too much spasticity-use Estim first on the dorsi flexors of the foot without walking and you can often begin the control that you won’t get if you just try to walk with it with too much tone the other way

Jessica Boone Faulkerson
I use one at home twice. A day.

Michelle Morgan
They used it on me in ot and pt. I am now walking u assisted and using my arm and hand.

But it’s not just us stroke survivors who think there is something in this, I found existing research on the use. of electric stimulation on upper limbs

For example,
http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/41/4/821.full
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22266658
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0004951414603536

It seems there is growing body of interest in this field and I would be absolutely ecstatic if our £250,000 research bid is formally approved soon.

Keep you posted👍😜

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