Functional Electrical Stimulation Exercise

What is the Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Exercise Program?

Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a modality where electrodes are placed on the surface of the skin (transcutaneous) to induce muscle activation.These electrodes supply electrical currents to nerves supplying paralyzed or weakened muscles. This current delivers the necessary stimulation to elicit a muscle contraction with the purpose of providing functionally useful movements, such as cycling or rowing, which can aide in the prevention of muscle atrophy, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.

A National Leader

The Steadward Centre has a long history of involvement in FES Exercise. Since 1991, when the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society (SCITCS) donated the first FES Ergys bike in Western Canada,The Steadward Centre has been engaged in the facilitation and implementation of FES exercise programs for individuals living with paralysis through the use of three exercise modalities: cycling, rowing, and most recently elliptical training. In fall 2011, the program was expanded to include community sites within Edmonton; expanding even further in 2013 when a provincial network entitled "The AltaStim FES Network" was established.

Interested in FES? Please see the following links:

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How to Get Started?

To participate in FES, you will require a referral from your doctor.

An initial consultation/ screening is required. This can be completed through The Steadward Centre. Please contact Scott Forrester, Manager Fitness & Recreation for more information at or (780) 492-9236.

Upon completion of the initial consultation, a Steadward Centre Consultant would then set up an individualized FES exercise program which you can do at one of the options below. Please note that there are different support options available at each facility. We will gladly help you make an informed decision to meet your personal needs.

FES programs options in the Edmonton area:
1. The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement, 1-670 Van Vliet Centre, University of Alberta
2. Saville Community Sport Centre, 11520 - 65 Avenue NW, University of Alberta (South Campus)
3. Don Wheaton YMCA, 10211 102 Ave NW

For more information please contact:
Scott Forrester