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Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycling program

FES cycling program

A doctor's referral is required to participate in the FES cycling program.

To make a referral or for more information, call
612-863-1924 or fax to 612-863-5698.


This program is offered through Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

The Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycling program is designed for persons with spinal cord injury as a method of getting aerobic exercise.

Benefits may include:

  • increased muscle mass
  • decreased frequency of muscle spasms
  • increased circulation
  • maintaining range of motion
  • increased cardiovascular endurance
  • decreased frequency of pressure sores and edema
  • a method of exercise that does not contribute to overuse injuries of the arms
  • improved sense of well-being.

To participate in FES cycling, an order from a physician is required. An evaluation is then performed by a qualified physical therapist.

If determined to be an appropriate candidate, the participant is then assessed using the FES cycle and monitored closely for an adverse reaction to exercise and/or stimulus.

If the initial FES session is tolerated well by the participant, he or she will take part in up to six weeks of training by the physical therapy staff in use of the equipment and progression of exercise.

If assistance will be required to participate, the patient's caregiver will be trained as well.

When the six-week training period is completed, the participant is discharged from physical therapy and provided with information on how to schedule independent sessions using the FES cycle. Participants will also receive information on how to purchase a home FES cycle.

Source: Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Reviewed by: Matt White, OTR/L, Instructor Scientist
First Published: 03/22/2011
Last Reviewed: 03/01/2011