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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Therapy patients can now pedal to healthier lives

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(Photo)
Terry Cole of Sikeston and staff from Sikeston Rehab listen to T.Ann McElroy of Restorative Therapies based in Baltimore during a training session on the RT-300 SLSA motorized functional electrical stimulation bicycle. The cycle, which can stimulate muscle groups in the arms, legs and trunk, was installed Friday at the physical and occupational therapy provider in Sikeston, making it the only one of its kind within in a 200-mile radius. Cole, a co-owner of Sikeston Rehab, said other local therapy providers are welcome to use the bicycle with their patients who have a neurological diagnosis. Leonna Heuring, Staff
SIKESTON -- For some local individuals with neurological impairments, a cardiovascular workout isn't easy to come by in Southeast Missouri -- until now.

A Sikeston rehabilitation service provider has installed a motorized functional electrical stimulation bicycle.

The RT 300-SLSA motorized functional electrical stimulation (FES) bicycle, which can stimulate muscle groups in the arms, legs and trunk, was installed Friday at Sikeston Rehab, making it the only one of its kind within in a 200-mile radius of Sikeston.

"The cycle is designed to interact with the neurons in somebody's muscles. So when that happens, it forces the muscles to contract and when, we force muscles to contract -- by pushing the pedals on a bike, for instance -- it adds resistance and forces that body to exercise and work the heart and circulatory system," said T.Ann McElroy of Restorative Therapies -- a leading FES technology company for motorized systems based in Baltimore.

That work, McElroy said, has a massive impact.

"As we're forcing, the heart and lungs have to work harder because they have to circulate the blood throughout the whole body," McElroy explained.

McElroy said the bicycle is designed for use by individuals with any type of neurological impairment, such as spinal cord injuries, stroke-related disorders, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

"The physiological benefit that happens is stimulation that's coming from the bicycle and forcing patterned activity," McElroy said. "It has an impact on the body, quite frankly, that I can't do as a therapist on my own. We can work with one limb, but we can't force limbs to contract."

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