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Functional Electrical Stimulation & Technology Task Force



To promote high quality research and evidence-based clinical applications of FES and other technologies for people with SCI. We also aim to raise awareness among clinicians and rehabilitation specialists about daily applications of functional electrical stimulation (FES) in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). This may include the recommended sessions, frequency of applications and the effective parameters based on the goal of therapy and the clinical characteristics (age, body fatness, level of injury, time since injury) of persons with SCI. Our mission was recently expanded to incorporate technology.


Ashraf S. Gorgey, MPT, PhD, FACSM, FACRM

Ashraf S. Gorgey, MPT, PhD, FACSM, FACRM


Chief of Spinal Cord Injury Research, Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center
Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Kristin Musselman, PT, PhD

Kristin Musselman, PT, PhD


Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

2021 GOALS

  • Host 3 webinars
  • Present 2-3 symposiums
  • Publish one manuscript



2020 Accomplishments

WEBINARS: We have presented three webinars:

  • Spinal Cord Epidural Stimulation and Recovery of Motor Function After Chronic, Complete Spinal Cord Injury: Details Matter! with Guest Speaker Enrico Rejc, PhD
    This presentation highlights the latest breakthroughs in using epidural stimulation in facilitating recovery of motor control in persons with SCI. Upon completion of the webinar, participants will be able to discuss the mechanisms of spinal cord epidural stimulation for motor recovery, and understand the importance of stimulation parameters and activity-based training characteristics.
  • Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Cervical Spinal Cord Injury with Guest Speaker Carrie Peterson
    Improved upper limb function is the most desired rehabilitation outcome for individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI) at the cervical level. Challenges in improving upper limb function include muscle imbalances (i.e., some muscles remain fully functional, others are partially or fully paralyzed) and the need to use the upper limbs for activities of daily living. Thus, there is a need to both restore and preserve upper limb function. This webinar will focus on clinical and research strategies to address this unique challenge with attention to pairing physical therapy techniques with neuromodulation.
  • Telehealth Medicine and Exercise for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury (ACRM Pandemic Webinar) with Guest Speaker Ashraf S. Gorgey, MPT, PhD
    Exercise is a cornerstone medicine to combat a number of comorbidities in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Maintaining a quality life is challenging especially in persons with tetraplegia. The challenges can widely vary to include physical, social and environmental barriers, which likely restrict access to medical centers for exercise opportunities in persons with SCI. Telehealth Medicine arises as a special therapeutic tool that can successfully mitigate some of these challenges. Our group has successfully used a VA established telehealth program to deliver exercise programs after SCI. Delivering an exercise program via a telehealth system was totally safe, ensured subjects’ compliance, helped to decrease subjects’ burnout and decreased travel time and cost commonly associated with frequent visits. We are currently facing an unprecedented situation of mandatory enforcement of social distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This pandemic badly impacted our social and physical activities and will likely continue for several months. Knowing that people with SCI are highly vulnerable, we have to develop telehealth exercise protocols to address several of the barriers and challenges in this population.


  • Hassan et al. “Effects of electrical stimulation training on body composition parameters after spinal cord injury: a systematic review.” Submitted to AJPMR.


  • Musselman KE, Gauthier C, Singh H, Jervis Rademeyer H. An electrifying introduction to the use of functional electrical stimulation in neurorehabilitation: A hands-on approach.
  • Gorgey AS, Trost Z, Peterson C. Technological Advancements in the Rehabilitation After Spinal Cord Injury

2019 Accomplishments

  • Programming at ACRM, CSM and ASIA meetings
  • Rehab Outlook article
  • Educational pages for APMR
  • Develop educational pre-meeting workshops
    • Stimulation parameters
    • Frequency/Dosing of applications of FES
    • Applications targeting different systems
    • Incorporate current applications of exoskeletons and brain-computer interfaces