In late 2016 we were proud to announce our affiliation with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery® Network (NRN). This very exciting affiliation not only provided us with an opportunity to collaborate and learn from some of the best spinal cord injury rehabilitation clinicians and scientists in the world but to also bring a very important rehabilitation product to the United Kingdom for the very first time.
The affiliation enabled Neurokinex to become the first and only organisation to date outside of the United States to deliver a brand new Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) programme which has demonstrated some very exciting results in spinal cord injury.
We have now successfully rolled out this new NMES programme – we call it NMES-WPS – across our Neurokinex Hemel Hempstead and Gatwick rehabilitation centres with plans to also roll out to our Bristol centre later this year.
So what is so special about this new type of NMES?
Well, for those of you that are familiar with rehabilitation for spinal cord injury rehabilitation, you may already know of FES (functional electrical stimulation), which is used by many centres and clinics today for spinal cord injury rehab.
FES is delivered by specialised devices that deliver electrical stimulation via adhesive electrodes (sticky pads hooked up to cables) that are placed on the skin, over a muscle. The stimulation, if delivered with the right parameters can generate involuntary muscle contractions.
This approach is great for forcing paralysed muscles to fire. Some of the more advanced devices can even stimulate many muscles in a co-ordinated fashion to perform an activity like cycling, rowing, reaching, grasping and even standing/stepping.
The benefits of this type of stimulation are many – ie improvements in muscle bulk/size, circulation, skin quality, bone density, cardiovascular health and the general release of good chemicals.
In short, FES is very good for your muscles and has lots of health benefits!
But, despite all of these many wonderful benefits, FES has not been able to demonstrate positive changes in motor function to date.
This is where our next generation neuromuscular electrical stimulation programme, we call it NMES-WPS, differs!
The unique set of parameters of stimulation, delivered by a state-of-the-art electrical stimulation device, allows us to generate muscle contractions in a very specific and much more natural way that has a greater affinity with the spinal cord.
This very special type of electrical stimulation, coupled with intensive bouts of activity-based rehabilitation, is showing some wonderful results for individuals living with spinal cord injury with changes being observed in hand, arm, trunk and leg function.
Since introducing the new NMES-WPS programme at Neurokinex we have documented a number of case studies and over the coming weeks we plan to share these. Keep your eyes on our social media platforms.
The photos below give you an idea of how it works and the different muscles groups we can target.
Our unique NMES-WPS programme in action targeting trunk (left photo), arm (centre photo) and leg (right photo) function
If you are interested in participating in our NMES-WPS programme please get in touch with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Neurokinex Team