A Review of Functional Electrical Stimulation Treatment in Spinal Cord Injury

Shiyu Luo, Haonan Xu, Yi Zuo, Xiaogang Liu*, Angelo Homayoun ALL*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Functional electrical stimulation (FES) has been widely adopted to elicit muscle contraction in rehabilitation training after spinal cord injury (SCI). Conventional FES modalities include stimulations coupled with rowing, cycling, assisted walking and other derivatives. In this review, we studied thirteen clinical reports from the past 5 years and evaluated the effects of various FES aided rehabilitation plans on the functional recovery after SCI, highlighting upper and lower extremity strength, cardiopulmonary function, and balder control. We further explored potential mechanisms of FES using the Hebbian theory and lumbar locomotor central pattern generators. Overall, FES can be used to improve respiration, circulation, hand strength, mobility, and metabolism after SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-463
Number of pages17
JournalNeuroMolecular Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury


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