Patient & Family FAQs
For Patients & Families
Restorative Therapies iFES
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a well-established rehabilitation technique that uses pulses of electrical current to stimulate peripheral nerves (the “lower motor neurons” that connect the spinal cord muscles) generating muscle contractions and patterned muscle activity. FES is applied using electrodes placed over the muscle to be activated.
Restorative Therapies' iFES incorporates functional electrical stimulation (FES) integrated with task specific or motor assistance/resistance activities to optimize therapeutic goals. Our proprietary software provides real-time biofeedback, data tracking and sophisticated control algorithms that are designed for a wide range of neurological impairments.
Restorative Therapies iFES creates patterned movement in the arms, legs and core. In people with weak or paralyzed muscles, iFES enables muscles to work and perform activities. In addition, iFES can facilitate muscle contractions and activity even if the individual is not able to actively participate.
With our systems, you can stimulate muscles on one or both sides of your body depending upon your needs. You also can stimulate your core muscles during therapy sessions. These muscles are important for many activities including posture, balance, transferring, reaching and coughing.
An integral part of the iFES system is the motor, which provides assistance or resistance to enhance the function of weak or paralyzed muscles. Our motorized systems allow the user to perform massed practice repetitions to achieve high intensity activity. The motor facilitates arm or leg movement in a circular motion to recreate physical work in conjunction with the FES-evoked muscle contractions. The arm or leg movements are sequenced with the muscle contraction at the precise time and degree of natural rotation.
Dynamic Motor Support helps maximize outcomes by automatically controlling the motor throughout your therapy session. Dynamic Motor Support delivers accurate speed and resistance and makes the motor 100% responsive to your individual performance level, maximizing your muscle contractions and producing consistent, reliable therapy. While powerful, the ultra-smooth motion operates very quietly.
When you first start your iFES therapy, it’s likely that your muscles will tire quickly. The motor will help you to complete a full duration therapy session from day one, even if you experience early muscle fatigue. As your muscles begin to condition, the motor will then start to provide resistance for your muscles to work against. As long as the user is able to maintain a set minimum speed, achieved through FES-evoked contractions with any intact movement, stimulation will be provided. This is called active therapy.
Passive, or motor only movement without FES, only allows the person to utilize muscle strength that is already available. During active therapy, FES is provided to force activity in paralyzed or weak muscles to contribute to the movement. Active therapy with FES is necessary to help you reach your health and recovery goals by allowing muscles to do the work they are meant to do.
Activity-Based Therapy (ABT) is a treatment protocol involving therapy interventions that focus on maximizing the nervous system’s capacity for recovery. Several techniques are incorporated to stimulate the nervous system below the level of an injury. The intensive use of FES is paramount in an ABT protocol.
Restorative Therapies products were developed to support clinicians and patients in the application of these techniques. High-intensity repetitive activation of the damaged neuromuscular system is necessary for motor re-learning and can be achieved on any Restorative Therapies iFES system. For example, a typical 30-minute RT300 iFES session will activate up to 12 muscle groups thousands of times during one session.
Task-specific training with FES is another key component of an ABT protocol and is aimed at restoring independence in a meaningful functional activity. This intervention can be supported with the Xcite iFES system which includes 40 functional activities.
High-intensity and task-specific training are both crucial to restore function and optimize health and wellness.
Restorative Therapies offers rehabilitation solutions for neurological conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. We offer comprehensive and customizable rehabilitation systems and supportive services. As the industry leader in integrated functional electrical stimulation (iFES), we’ve proudly helped more than 100,000 patients in more than 1,000 clinics and more than 4,000 homes worldwide over the past 15 years.
Trying iFES Therapy
Restorative Therapies' systems are being used in a growing number of rehabilitation centers around the world. Start your journey now and contact an iFES expert at Restorative Therapies to discover where you can try one of our systems. Call 1-800-609-9166
Yes! Over 80% of Restorative Therapies iFES systems are being utilized in people’s homes. Contact an iFES expert at Restorative Therapies today to discover how we can help you to get a device for in-the-home. We have funding resources, financing and reimbursement solutions available along with other options.
Many individuals with varying neurological disorders achieve functional gains as well as health benefits from the use of iFES as part of their inpatient and/or outpatient rehabilitation program. Those who have limited ability to participate in traditional exercise may demonstrate functional decline, muscle mass loss, and increased spasticity when discontinuing iFES therapies.
iFES systems, most commonly the RT300 and RT200, can be prescribed for use in-home or accessed in a community-based wellness program so that individuals can continue to build on the gains they made in their rehabilitation programs.
Reduced mobility commonly contributes to re-hospitalization and a variety of secondary health complications, such as pressure sores, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, sepsis, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Consistent and regular use of iFES will help you achieve optimal health and your fullest recovery potential. The best outcomes are achieved with 3 or more sessions per week.
Your clinician will help determine the frequency that is most appropriate for you.
Your clinician will help determine the session length that is most appropriate for you. A typical session is usually between 30-60 minutes. A 30-minute iFES session will activate your muscles thousands of times.
Restorative Therapies provides ongoing clinical and technical support direct to in-home users. You can book an appointment online or call 1-800-609-9166.
Restorative Therapies' systems provide a minimum of 6 channels of electrical stimulation however systems can be upgraded to include 12 channels of stimulation.
More stimulation channels means you can target more muscle groups for efficiency and to maximize the therapeutic benefit. Number of channels needed varies for individuals.
The sensation of iFES you experience will depend on your specific neurological impairment or condition. If you have a complete spinal cord injury, you may not feel the iFES below the level of injury. If you have an incomplete spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or other neurological condition, others have described a tingling sensation that’s usually well-tolerated.
All of our iFES systems have very flexible stimulation parameters. Your clinician can customize stimulation settings for each muscle group to obtain the best muscle response while keeping the iFES sensation you experience safe and comfortable.
Finance and Reimbursement
Yes, many insurance companies do cover our systems. Restorative Therapies offers insurance reimbursement services with our full-time internal expert reimbursement team, at no cost to you. Our reimbursement team is dedicated and determined to help you optimize your health insurance reimbursement outcome.
We are proud of our success in helping people secure insurance coverage. In many cases we have successfully done this after an individual has already purchased a system so you do not have a lapse in your ongoing continuum of care and can continue to achieve therapeutic benefits.
We take the burden off of you and work directly with your insurance company with your involvement along the way.
Our reimbursement process includes:
- Ensuring you have a prescription and Letter of Medical Necessity
- Interacting with your insurance company on your behalf
- Working through your insurance company’s application and appeal process
Success of insurance coverage will depend on several factors, including your condition and the type of insurance you have.
If you would like us to assist with your insurance, please contact us before you make any submission so that we can guide you through the process.
While no guarantees can be provided, we make best efforts to secure reimbursement.
If approved, CareCredit healthcare financing can help you finance a Restorative Therapies iFES system. Apply here