Functional neuromuscular stimulation. Exercise conditioning of spinal cord injured patients

Int J Sports Med. 1994 Apr;15(3):142-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1021036.


The results of numerous research studies indicate that functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS)-induced exercise training of the paralyzed lower-limbs of spinal cord injured (SCI) patients can result in several important health and fitness benefits that cannot be achieved solely through conventional arm exercise modes. These benefits include peripheral adaptations where muscle strength, endurance, girth and appearance can be improved, as well as central circulatory adaptations which enhance aerobic (cardiopulmonary) capacity. There is also evidence that secondary medical complications related to sedentary lifestyle and inadequate circulation of blood can be prevented or alleviated with FNS exercise. The purpose of this paper is to present various FNS exercise modes including knee extension weight training, leg cycling and a hybrid exercise (voluntary-arm cranking and FNS-leg cycling), and to provide physiologic response patterns that are elicited.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Exercise Therapy* / classification
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Hemiplegia / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*