Hey, everyone. Walter Johnson here. My younger cousin, David Long, was involved in a terrible automobile accident which resulted in severe spinal injuries, paralysis, and a long, very tough road back towards recovery. Each day since his accident has been a struggle and Team Long has been working overtime through initial and now current rehabilitation efforts, making constant adjustments and changes to best suit David's condition.
Your spinal cord houses the nervous systems of your body, and without proper functioning of the nerve pathway, your muscles and limbs stop receiving the signals they require to keep your body moving. David's spinal cord injuries have severely impacted his motor abilities such as lifting, grasping, overall stability, muscle density, tone, and core body strength.
But now we need your help to continue David’s recovery therapy.
Over the years, various rehabilitation tools have been developed to help repair and rebuild spinal injury nerve connections and consequently the muscles that depend upon those signals. The MyoCycle Home FES Cycling System is one of the best tools available to ensure David’s musculoskeletal system retains every gain that we’ve worked so hard to recover.
FES stands for Functional Electrical Stimulation. Before we can understand what FES is and how it works, we first need to understand why we need FES.
The human brain controls the body’s movement by sending electrical signals through nerves to muscles. These signals tell the muscles to contract and cause movement. If the brain or nerves get damaged, the electrical signals won’t reach the muscles, so the muscles won’t contract when we want them to. When a muscle won’t contract at all when we want it to, we call that paralysis. When only part of the muscle contracts when we want it to, we call that partial paralysis or paresis. When the muscles contract on their own when we don’t want them to, we call that a muscle spasm or spasticity.
Following is a short video that explains how FES using the MyoCycle System can help improve David’s nervous system damages:
Paralysis and spasticity are caused by the loss of electrical signals that tell the muscles when to contract. We can replace these lost electrical signals with electrical stimulation. An electrical stimulation device, called a stimulator, takes electricity from a battery or power outlet, converts the electricity to electrical pulses, and then sends those pulses through cables and electrodes directly into the body. The electrical pulses activate undamaged nerves, which then tell the muscles to contract.
Since electrical stimulation can make a muscle contract when we want it to, it can help people with paralysis use their muscles to move again. Stimulating a muscle also helps reduce spasticity by making the muscle tired. Paralysis can stop someone from doing something functional, like standing up, walking, or grabbing something. Electrical stimulation can be used to help them regain that lost functionality.
For example, we can use electrical stimulation on the leg muscles of a person with paralysis to let them pedal a bicycle whenever they want.
FES is used to help people with paralysis caused by neurological disorders like spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy, and other conditions.
The benefits of FES include:
• Relaxing muscle spasms
• Preventing muscle atrophy
• Increasing local blood circulation
• Maintaining or increasing range of motion
Some studies have also shown that FES can increase bone density, re-educate muscles, improve functionality, and improve cardiovascular health. Check out our clinical research page or our blog for more information about the benefits of FES.
MYOLYN has years of experience researching and developing FES devices. MYOLYN’s first products use FES to help people with paralysis perform the therapeutic exercise in the form of stationary cycling. Click here to learn more about the MyoCycle FES cycling therapy system. While FES-cycling is typically associated with spinal cord injury, its benefits extend to people with other neurological conditions, especially stroke and MS. These benefits include:
· Improved walking and cycling ability
· Increased muscle strength
· Improved physical, mental, and social well-being
· Better quality of life
So today, I’m asking for your financial contribution that will allow us to purchase the MyoCycle therapy system for David’s continuing rehabilitation.
If everyone can pitch in something, then this therapy can begin sooner, rather than later.
I’m contributing to this fundraising effort myself, and I personally invite all of you out there that have known David and have experienced his incredible kindness, musical talent, and demeanor to help me run this football into the end zone.
Thanks, guys. I look forward to hearing from you.
David is ready to get back to rocking us all as only he can. : )
Let’s make this happen together.
Walter F. Johnson
- Joyce Grigsby
- Vanessa Sattler
- Sandra Pitts
- ivar eidem