FES machines

I was given one of these to help with dropped foot three years ago. I returned it today as the foot has now corrected itself, despite still turning inwards a little. Had an interesting talk with the physio. Availability of these machines is a bit of a postcode lottery and depends on whether commissioning groups will fund it and the population affected to the point where they need one. I am lucky to live in an area where funding is available but clients in low numbers eg 20 in my funding area. A major city can have over 200 people on a waiting list. She also said the earlier you are treated after a stroke, the better the recovery.

that's encouraging news. I have also been loaned one of these by my local rehab team. I don't now use it every day but use it regularly on my practise walks  I can walk badly without it for a short distance. it has really helped and encouraging to know that it can help to rebuild pathways to solve drop foot. my intention is to work on walking this year as my priority. I will keep the FES  machine at least until summer but yor story has given me a little bit of renewed hope. this week I am just resting though. fatigue has hit me quite hard after a couple of outings so I am not pushing it. we invested in a big new cooker which is easier for me to operate and safer. an induction hob so I can't accidentally burn myself. so I may need to trade one handed cooking tips as time goes on. left hand is still a passenger though botox treatment is beginning to eliminate the stiffness. so some progress. 

  really pleased for you re walking. I'll be catching up. 


Tony, I hope your machine helps you. Mine was always a concern because I had an allergic reaction the pads. My skin is fine now. I had drop foot for three years and used the machine for two. Then, just over a year ago, the foot started lifting naturally and I have not used the machine since.

After my stroke, we modernised our kitchen too and made everything more disabled friendly. We also  put a comfort height toilet downstairs and one upstairs. Fortunately we had the means to do this. I still keep working to improve more but these changes have made my life easier.

I don't get terrible fatigue any more, but have a daily nap at 1pm without fail. Part of the trick is not overdoing things. This means a quieter life, but this, at my age, is no bad thing.

As for cooking tips, it's a bit trial and error. I bought a good food processor and that helps. My key advice is to utilise your weak hand as much as possible. After a lot of mishaps, I can peel potatoes and apples, but cannot use a fork in my left hand or cut up meat. I now eat with a fork in my right hand, American style.

the FES machine really helps. I don't use it every day. since I lost my job I don't have to go out each day. though I try to get some fresh air daily even for just a few minutes. when fatigue comes it rather disrupts my exercise routine, so I scale it back and pace things. I am am very happy to have been forced to live at a slower pace. I read a lot, fortunately my intellectual function wasn't affected greatly and what I lost in terms of visual processing seems to have recovered very well. to my great pleasure. walking was always a great pleasure for me and I have had to adapt to the loss. my son and I completed the Cleveland Way just before the stroke. in my mind then I had imagined it to be the first of many adventures. I can walk without the FES but not very fluently. the foot doesn't drag like it did at first so something is beginning. I have some dorsiflexion. it suddenly came back about 2 years ago but doesn't play properly yet when I walk but there is a connection. 

we have a very small kitchen which I think could be an advantage. the cooker is marvelous and was well worth the investment. I got a payout when my employer terminated my contract so Coul afford to pay for something a bit special.  I have other adaptations on the ground floor. we're in a 3 bedroom Edward Ian terrace.  I think it is really only in the last year we've fully accepted that we need to adapt things for me as disabled. it has been a difficult balance between accepting disability and working towards recovery. I am still coming to terms with that after nearly 4 years. my therapists have been encouraging and prognosis is positive

so I will work steadily for whatever recovery is possible. but in the meantime try to live well as a disabled person. I will let you know how cooking goes. I got a useful chopping board aid and planning to get a stool. I get very tired standing for long periods, though it is good exercise for legs and core muscles, and for balance generally. my therapists agree about making sure I get the weak hand involved. all feedback to the brain helps to build the new neural connections. I don't have any regular physiotherapy now. I was discharged from the local team recently. they told me that I was doing all the right things and to carry on. so I was happy with that. I am looking forward to the year. this time last year was horrible. I was in dispute with my employer and about to be dismissed. it was terribly stressful. that is all over now and I am free. have the occasional tussle with DWP as I have to claim benefits. at 61 I am too young to retire and a bit on the old side to start job hunting, not that I want another job. I am not opposed to the idea but would need a huge amount of help.  I am lucky that my wife has taken over the breadwinning duties, so we can manage. my 3 children are young adults and moving towards independence. so I have the unusual opportunity to do what I like cwith no pressure. now that's a bit of a gift!

 have a great weekend 

 nice to chat with you 

 all the best 



I too have been fortunate to be loaned a FES butvam having mixed results. When it works it really helps although has caused skin irritation and redness from the gel pads so have to leave it off fir a week for the skin to recover also find the wires a bit in the way when using the toilet and the little box which I wear on a belt rather intrusive and bulky when wearing a jumper and also when trying to do up a coat any ideas to help this?

I had terrible skin problems using the machine and was switched to hypoallergenic pads. The problems continued though and a barrier cream was prescribed. That did no good either. Have been off the machine for over a year because my foot began to lift again. I would talk to your doctor about the skin reaction.

I first used this shortly after my stroke, my physio was amazed at the really good result, now been over two years and am waiting to see if I can get it again


I have also been using an fes machine for nearly 3 years and struggled with wires etc in the early days wearing it on my waist band. I wear mainly skinny Jeans and leggings. My husband made a small hole on the outside of the leg at knee height and we then used a short stimulator cable from the pads and threaded  it through the hole. We then bought a phone holder that you would wear on your arm when exercising (Sports Direct £5) and wear it on my leg holding the fes just below my knee, which eliminates problems  with wires when using the toilet. 

Alternatively  just use the longer cables and come out of the bottom of the Jean's on the outside and plug into the machine. I usually wear trainers or knee length boots and this works well for me. Hope's this is helpful.

Regards  Sue

FES machines where do i find them please

Dennis, you can find them by googling online. However, a lot of health authorities fun FES machine. Mine did and I had one for two years with regular check ups. Waiting lists can involve a fairly long wait to be assessed for one.

Hi, I have been using an fes Pace for 3 years, which has been funded by my GP, through the National Hospital, Queens Square, London, where I attend for regular check ups. You can get the machine through Oddstock Medical in Salisbury. I have also bought a 4 channel Fes machine online, which I use every evening on my left arm, to try and wake it up a bit . Good luck

Regards Sue