Intensive Training of Subjects with Chronic Hemiparesis on a Motorized Cycle Combined with Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES): A Feasibility and Safety Study


Background and Purpose.This study tested the safety and ability of subjects with chronic hemiplegia to tolerate intensive training using a motorized cycle combined with functional electrical stimulation (FES) system. Methods.A case series of 10 subjects with chronic stroke participated in 30-minute three times per week cycling on a stationary motorized cycling system combined with FES (RT300TM). The stimulation activated the dorsal and plantar flexors, the quadriceps and the hamstrings using four channels and a stimulation pattern that assisted cycling motion of the paretic lower limb. Patients were instructed to cycle as close as possible to 60rpm and the resistance to cycling was gradually increased using a computer-based algorism. The training lasted eight weeks. Results.All 10 participants completed the training without adverse reactions to the training or the FES. The kcal utilized during the training increased significantly (p = 0.0003) between session 1 (2.2 ± 0.47), session 12 (4.3 ± 1.2) and session 24 (7.5 ± 1.8). Peak pedaling power increased from 6.5 ± 0.5W pre-training to 18.0 ± 5.4W post-training. Locomotion variables that improved significantly were time to complete the get up and go test (45.4 ± 54.9 seconds vs. 34.0 ± 31.8 seconds) a 24.6% improvement (p = 0.03) and gait velocity, which increased 25.0% from 0.4 ± 0.3m/sec to 0.5 ± 0.4m/sec (p = 0.01). Conclusion.Using a motorized cycle combined with FES intensive training appears safe and can be tolerated by patients with chronic stroke of wide age range, diverse severity of cardio-pulmonary deconditioning, motor loss and locomotor deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiotherapy Research International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011



  • FES
  • Motorized cycle
  • Stroke
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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