Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Fishersville, VA 22939

WWRC Therapies

Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation

Overview

Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation (FNS) is a rehabilitation strategy that applies low-level electrical current to the nerves that control muscles to stimulate functional movements. "Functional" refers to the restoration of useful movements, like standing, stepping, pedaling for exercise, reaching or grasping.

Physical therapists use FNS to facilitate activation and strengthening of paralyzed or weakened muscles following spinal cord injury, stroke, and brain injury. This tool is used along with other therapy interventions to increase functional muscle activity.

Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation Services

  • Portable FNS units used for individual muscle group strengthening
  • ERGYS 2 Rehabilitation System (Therapeutic Alliances Inc.) lower extremity cycling ergometers
  • RT 300-S (Restorative Therapies, Inc.) lower extremity cycling ergometer
  • RT 300-S (Restorative Therapies, Inc) lower and upper extremity cycling ergometer
  • ParaStep® Walking System
  • Regional Lower Extremity Cycling Clinics—Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Grant funding sponsored equipment and training for four clinics in Virginia to offer FNS lower extremity cycling.  Clinic contact information is listed below.

Regional Lower Extremity Cycling Clinic Contact Information

  • Sentara Hilltop Therapy Center - Virginia Beach, VA | Phone:  757-333-7000
  • Advanced Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation - Vienna, VA | Phone:  703-749-0223
  • Medical College of Virginia - Richmond, VA | Phone:  804-828-2941
  • Carillion Rehab Hospital - Roanoke, VA | Phone:  540-853-0636

Funtional Neuromuscular Stimulation Cycle Ergometry

WWRC has both the ERGYS 2 and the RT 300-S lower extremity cycle ergometers. These computerized FNS units allow clients with little or no voluntary leg movement to actively pedal a stationary leg bike. WWRC also has the RT 300-S leg and arm cycle which enables therapists to stimulate shoulder and arm muscles for similar benefits. Regular participation in an FNS cycling program can result in the following benefits:

  • Prevention of muscle atrophy
  • Relaxation of muscle spasms
  • Improvement of circulation
  • Improvement in range of motion
  • Improvement in cardiopulmonary function
  • Reduction in pressure sore frequency
  • Improvements in bowel and bladder function
  • Decreased incidence of urinary tract infections

Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation Gait

The Parastep® System is a form of FNS that enables some persons with spinal cord injury to stand and walk limited distances. Through a specially adapted walker, the user pushes buttons on the walker to tell the stimulator to send signals to electrodes placed over the muscles of the hip and knee muscles to assist the user in coming to a standing position and in taking steps. This technology usually works best with people with complete spinal cord injuries between T2 and L1.

Contact Information

Email Physical Therapy (PhysicalTherapyInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov)
Phone 800-345-9972, Ext. 7118 or 540-332-7118
TTY 800-811-7893