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Electrical stimulation for spinal cord injury patients

People in West Virginia who have gone through a spinal cord injury can appreciate the profound effects that it can have. This is true for the person who suffered the injury, but also for that person's friends and family. Although someone may never fully recover from this kind of an injury, that does not mean that there is no hope for moving on and enjoying a meaningful life after a spinal cord injury.

Doctors and researchers are constantly developing new treatments and technologies to help people with spinal cord injuries. Some of these advancements help the injured person recover from the injury, while others are geared toward improving the person's quality of life. Furthermore, some treatments go beyond ordinary medicine or life-assisting devices. One such treatment, for example, uses electricity to help spinal cord injury patients.

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) uses computers to send electrical impulses through the patient's body. The low levels of electricity are designed to help activate the person's muscles in particular areas of their body. This electricity can cause the patient's muscles to contract, which promotes muscle growth and control. Thus, FES can help a spinal cord injury victim to get more strength and better function in his or her hands, arms and legs.

Therapy and exercise go hand-in-hand with electrical stimulation to help improve the spinal cord injury patient's daily life. Of course, innovative treatments like FES usually come with a hefty price tag. In addition, people with spinal cord injuries often need treatment and therapy for the rest of their lives.

The medical expenses that are involved with any serious injury can be staggering, and victims may be entitled to pursue compensation from any party who may have caused the injury. Treatments like FES can be truly life-changing for the patient, but the patient and his or her family should not have to bear the brunt of the cost if the injury was caused by someone else.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Functional electrical stimulation for spinal cord injury," Accessed on Aug. 28. 2015

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