What is FES? (Functional Electrical Stimulation)

Functional Electrical Stimulation, or FES, is a technique that uses electrical current to cause a muscle to contract. Normally, when a part of the body needs to move, the brain sends electrical signals through the nervous system. The nerves in this system act like electrical wires, passing the signal along from your brain to your muscles, telling them to contract. Often, in individuals with a neurological or musculoskeletal disability, the wiring to certain muscles may be damaged, meaning they no longer receive these electrical signals from the brain. FES can help these individuals by providing an external signal that bypasses the effected wiring in their nervous system to target these muscles and make them move. FES is a medical technique that is used in rehabilitation to stimulate nerves and muscles to contract and perform functional movement.

FES Therapy Benefits

The benefits of FES therapy can be life-changing and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Improving muscle strength, range of motion
  • Reduction of spasticity
  • Prevention of muscle atrophy/weakening
  • Increasing local blood circulation, and
  • Promoting muscle re-education and neuroplasticity*

*Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change and reorganize itself in response to new experiences, learning, and damage. It stems from the brain’s ability to form new connections between neurons and strengthen existing connections. This mechanism enables the brain to adapt to new information and experiences. It is a key factor in the recovery of brain damage or injury, as the brain can reorganize itself to compensate for lost function.


Access affordable, at-home FES therapy with our ReGrasp Bionic Glove.