Submissions from Readers

Electrical stimulation

by Angie
(Hendersonville, nc)

Question: Mom 72, suffered a severe stroke in n the right side leaving the left paralyzed. While at the first facility she received electrical stimulation (ES). After 4 weeks she had to change to a new facility because of Medicare. The new place does not want to use ES because there is controversy saying it should not be used too soon. It has been two months since the initial stroke. What are you thoughts on this?


Answer: I would ask them to show you research that backs their claims. When looking at what treatments are effective with stroke, I refer to www.ebrsr.com. EBRSR stands for Evidenced Based Review of Stroke Research. According to the EBRSR, there is strong evidence that functional electrical stimulation treatment improves upper extremity function in acute (early) stroke and in chronic stroke. You can read more about the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of upper extremity treatments at http://ebrsr.com/sites/default/files/Module-10-upper-extremity_FINAL_16ed.pdf.

You can also refer to their website at www.ebrsr.com to see information about lower extremity and other types of treatment. I personally do use FES if approved by the MD in patients that are two months post stroke. The results from the EBRSR for upper extremity treatment was last updated October 2013. If you want to learn about research in the last year, you can try doing a search on "electrical stimulation stroke research' with the time constraints of the past year to read the most recent research.

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