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Electrical stimulation techniques for paralysis patients aim to activate muscles or nerves to restore function or prevent muscle atrophy. Here are the main types:

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES): FES involves the application of electrical current to stimulate peripheral nerves to produce functional movements. It is often used to assist with walking, grasping objects, or other specific movements.​

  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES): NMES targets muscles rather than nerves, aiming to produce contractions in paralyzed muscles. This can help prevent muscle atrophy, improve circulation, and potentially improve muscle strength.​

  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): TENS uses low-voltage electrical current to relieve pain by stimulating sensory nerves. While primarily used for pain relief, it can also have secondary benefits such as improving circulation and reducing muscle spasms.


  • Intraspinal Microstimulation (ISMS): ISMS involves the direct stimulation of neurons within the spinal cord. This technique is more experimental and is aimed at restoring specific motor functions by bypassing damaged neural pathways.


  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): DBS involves the implantation of electrodes within certain areas of the brain. While not specifically for paralysis, it is used to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, which can sometimes involve paralysis-like symptoms.

These techniques vary in their applications and effectiveness depending on the specific condition and goals of treatment. They are often used in combination with rehabilitation therapies to maximize functional recovery in paralysis patients.

From Makayla's perspective, FES and ISMS are the most beneficial.



Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a technique that uses electrical currents to activate nerves and muscles to produce specific functional movements or actions. The primary goal of FES is to assist or restore functions that have been impaired due to neurological conditions or injuries. It aims to enhance motor control, improve muscle strength, and facilitate functional movements that may be challenging or impossible to achieve voluntarily.

FES devices deliver controlled electrical pulses through electrodes placed on the skin surface or implanted near nerves or muscles. These pulses stimulate the nerves to contract muscles in a coordinated manner, mimicking natural movement patterns.​

Benefits and Considerations:

  • FES can improve functional independence, quality of life, and mobility for individuals with neurological impairments.

  • It requires individualized programming and training by healthcare professionals to optimize effectiveness and safety.

  • Potential limitations include muscle fatigue with prolonged use, skin irritation at electrode sites, and the need for regular maintenance and adjustment.


In summary, FES is used to retrain the brain to communicate with existing neuro pathways which are still well and functioning. It is not a regenerative solution.



Epidural stimulation refers to a medical procedure where electrodes are implanted into the epidural space of the spinal cord. These electrodes are connected to a pulse generator device that delivers electrical currents to the spinal cord.


In a spinal cord injury, the damage generally inhibits the signals traveling through neuro pathways that extend from the brain to the rest of the body at the point of injury. Epidural stimulation assumes that some signals from the brain are still attempting to communicate with the body, but the damaged signal tissue dampens the signal. As such, the epidural stimulator amplifies these signals to restore functionality, including motor function. Verita Neuro is currently leading the charge for epidural implants.

See more information on Verita Neuro.

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