Epidural stimulation, in combination with extensive rehabilitation, has been reported to restore volitional movement in both motor complete and incomplete SCI patients. Implantation of epidural stimulation electrodes over the spinal cord, above the injury level, has been reported to restore supraspinal control over motor function below the level of injury. Patients also see improvements in cardiovascular function, sexual function, and bowel & bladder function.
What is Mapping?
There is also a team of mapping physiotherapists and nurses working with the patient during the session. The mapping is combined with advanced rehabilitation approaches. Task-specific training focuses on re-engaging the spinal circuitries below the level of injury to recover the lost motor functions, with the goal of increasing patient independence.
The electrical pulses emitted by the stimulator activate motor neurons, which allows the neural network inside the spinal cord to be controlled by the patient. This control allows them to regain the ability to contract and relax their muscles.
Why does epidural stimulator mapping require specialists?
Once the right movement and strength is found a ‘program’ is created with the stimulation device. Patients have access to 12 programs, which are all entirely tailored to their body, muscles and needs. Once these programs are created, the physiotherapists work with patients to maintain and promote the patient’s remaining abilities and improve their newly regained abilities. The patients receive physical and occupational therapy, from therapists experienced in working with spinal cord injury patients.
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