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Exploring Functional Electrical Stimulation at Spero Rehab

Functional Electrical Stimulation

Thanks to wonderful donors at The Lone Star Paralysis Foundation Gala, we now have a second RT300 FES System to use at our Spero Austin Central location! Find out what this system really does below.

What is FES?

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 to muscles) generating muscle contractions and patterned muscle activity.  FES is applied using adhesive pads placed over the muscle to be activated.

With Restorative Therapies’ systems, FES creates patterned movement in the arms, legs and trunk.  In people with weak or paralyzed muscles, FES enables muscles to work and perform activities.  In addition, even if the individual may not be able to consciously participate, FES can facilitate muscle contractions and activity.

With our systems, you can stimulate muscles on one or both sides of your body; whatever you need.  You also have the ability to stimulate your “core muscles” during your therapy sessions.  These muscles are the erector spinae muscles in your back and your abdominal muscles.  These muscles are important for many activities including posture, balance, transferring, reaching and coughing.

Dynamic Motor Support

Dynamic Motor Support will help you maximize your outcomes by automatically controlling the motor throughout your therapy session. Dynamic Motor Support delivers accurate speed and resistance and makes the ergometer 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 FES therapy, it is likely that your muscles will tire quickly.  The motor on the ergometer will help you to complete a full duration therapy session from day one even if you experience early muscle fatigue.  As you progress with your therapy and your muscles condition, you will be able to overcome early muscle fatigue.  The motor will then start to provide resistance for your muscles to work against.  This is called active therapy.

Why is active therapy important?

During passive therapy, muscles don’t do any of the work. For example, arms and legs are moved mechanically, by a non-FES.

Active therapy, on the other hand, allows muscles to do the work they are meant to do.  This is achieved either by an individual moving their muscles on their own or when muscles are activated by FES. Either way, active therapy means muscles are working and becoming more conditioned to help you reach your goals.

Active therapy is required to reverse muscle atrophy because it is only in active therapy that your muscles actually perform work.

Information provided by Restorative Therapies. Learn more at

Featured Staff Member!

In a day and age of online and automated service it is nice to know that there are still places you can call to hear a friendly voice. If you are calling Spero Rehab Austin, that voice will most likely be Yulissa Mena.

A veritable “Jill of all Trades” Yulissa is the beating heart of her clinic. She is the first person you speak to when making your decision to join us and our patients last line of defense when struggling with difficult insurance companies.

Never one to leave a concern unanswered, Yulissa is constantly looking for ways to improve the therapy experience for both her patients and therapists alike.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet this exceptional member of our Spero Austin family, please take a moment to stop by and say hello. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Patient Spotlight

This month we wanted to spolight one of our clients from the Spero Austin Central Clinic. David Whitley has made so much progress since starting therapy at Spero and his team could not be more proud of him. He always comes in with a smile on his face, a great sense of humor and ready to work hard. These past few months he has really been killing it!

Just look at these pictures below! From top to bottom you can see the progression of his leg strength and endurance. Notice the angle at his knees and how it progressively gets bigger allowing him to squat more and more of his body weight. Notice his face and how the effort required to complete this gets easier. But, most of all notice someone who never stopped putting in the hard work. This is the progress to prove it!

We are all so proud of you David! Never say never!

Treatment and Control of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a worldwide health problem characterized by the body’s inability to break down sugar due to an inefficiency of the hormone insulin.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the toll of diabetes is significant if left unchecked.

  1. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  2. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  3. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.
  4. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes. About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.

Role of the Physical Therapist in Diabetes

Physical activity, healthy nutrition and stress management are important factors in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Your physician may prescribe medication to assist with the treatment of diabetes.

Your physical therapist can create a safe, progressive exercise program that enables your body to become more sensitive to insulin and effectively remove extra glucose from your bloodstream. The goal is to normalize your blood glucose levels and improve your hemoglobin A1C readings.

Here are just some of the benefits of regular physical activity:

  1. Decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  2. Reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke
  3. Increase in calorie expenditure to enable weight loss
  4. Strengthening of the heart and better blood circulation
  5. Strengthening of muscles and bones.

You can experience all these benefits after you consult with your physical therapist.


Upcoming Events:

May 23rd, 2019

All Abilities IFly Night at IFly in Austin from 5:00-8:30 PM

May 24th, 2019

Stroke Awareess Event at Spero in Katy starting at 1:00 PM

May 25th, 2019

Adaptive Laser Tag at Blazer Tag in Austin from 11:30 am -3:00 pm

May 31st, 2019

WillPower Community Night at the Round Rock Express Dell Diamond starting at 7:00 PM

June 3rd-7th, 2019

CAMP ROWING, Rowing for All at The Texas Rowing Center in Austin 9:00 am- 12:00 pm

June 8th, 2019

Holly and The Hot Shots Paddle The Texas Water Safari for Lone Star Paralysis Foundation

June 24th-28th, 2019

CAMP KAYAK, Rowing for All at The Texas Rowing Center in Austin 9:00 am- 12:00 pm

July 8th-12th, 2019

CAMP KAYAK, Rowing for All at The Texas Rowing Center in Austin 9:00 am- 12:00 pm

July 15th-19th, 2019

CAMP ROWING, Rowing for All at The Texas Rowing Center in Austin 9:00 am- 12:00 pm

August 1st, 2019

Pay It Forward at AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin starting at 6:00 pm

Weekly Austin Adaptive Sports Schedule:

Monday – Different Training (weights, speed, sports etc) on a scheduled appointment basis

Tuesday – Wheelchair Football at Northwest Recreation Center 6:30-9:00 PM

Wednesday – Wheelchair Men’s Basketball at Doris Miller Recreational Center 6:30-9:00 PM

Thursday – Developmental Wheelchair Basketball at Manacha Baptist Church 6:30-8:30 PM

Friday – Adaptive Kayaking at Texas Rowing Center 6:00-8:00 PM

*Hosted by Lonestar Paralysis Foundation and directed by Raymond Turner. Please contact for more information.

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Katie Bouchillon

Spero Rehab



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Spero Rehab 23225 Kingsland Blvd. Suite 600 Katy TX 77494 Phone: 281-395-9090