Emerging Technologies: Paediatric Non-Invasive Spinal Cord Stimulation (niSCS) Combined With Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)

Newborns with open neural tube defects including the diagnosis of spina bifida (SB) are likely to undergo surgical repair. These newborns are expected to endure lifelong damage to the spinal cord and the resulting loss of sensation and loss of muscle activation. Clinically, many cases also present with neurogenic bladder and bowel dysfunctions increasing the likelihood of recurrent infections. Recovering the ability to regain some motor control of the trunk and lower extremities of subjects living with SB is similar to those living with spinal cord injury (SCI). Indeed, the rationale for and utility of functional electrical stimulation (FES) during the rehabilitation of SCI is well documented in peer-reviewed publications. In contrast, the utilization of FES during the habilitation of children with SB is barely mentioned in available clinical literature. The current webinar will describe a novel emerging technology which combines FES and non-invasive spinal cord stimulation (niSCS) for the management of children with SB. The presentation will focus on the rationale and the development of criteria to determine who may benefit from FES and niSCS. Several case studies will be presented providing examples of the successful application of FES+niSCS in a physical therapy treatment plan. The session will close with a roundtable discussion about combining FES and non-invasive spinal cord stimulation as a potential emerging technology for paediatric populations.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 2022 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM UTC/GMT
This webinar took place in the past. You may watch it online.


Gad Alon


Dr. Gad Alon, PT, Ph.D.



Dr. Alon is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the school of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. He was a core faculty until retiring in 2012. The core of his research endeavor has been to develop, test and help bring to the market new treatment options to treat slow-to-heal wounds, to manage acute inflammation, to strengthen weak-sarcopenic skeletal muscles, and assist in the recovery following damage the central nervous system (CNS) using both functional electrical stimulation (FES) and neuromodulation in the form of non-invasive electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB). In recent years, Dr. Alon began focusing on the design, development, testing and deployment of wearable wireless self-administered FES and EBS systems with the goal of making FES and EBS a standard-of-care option in the discipline of rehabilitation medicine world-wide. Prior to retirement, his major teaching included electrotherapy, management of limb amputation, management of pathological movements and therapeutic technologies. He has been awarded faculty of the year 6 times and his research and teaching has earned him world recognition in the field of clinical electrotherapy. Dr. Alon is invited frequently to share his interest and knowledge with clinicians and scientists Throughout the USA and around the world. He was a member of the board of directors of IFESS from 2014 to 2018. He is an adjunct Associate Professor in the Rehabilitation Science department at George Mason University.

Gerti Motavalli


Gerti Motavalli, PT, MS


Gerti Motavalli received her initial physical therapy diploma from the Berufsfachschule für Krankengymnastik in Deggendorf, Germany, and earned a master’s degree in physical therapy (MPT) from the University of Missouri, Columbia, USA. She is working in Florida, USA  as a pediatric PT and has been using electrical stimulation with her patients for many years. Together with Dr. Gad Alon, PT, Ph.D. she has developed a novel, non-invasive spinal stimulation protocol for children with Spina Bifida. The findings have been published in the journal, Child Neurology Open in 2019. Mrs. Motavalli offers continuing education seminars and consultation services to therapists, children and their families of how to incorporate electrical stimulation into the treatment of children with spina bifida.



Dr. Tamsyn Street, Salisbury NHS foundation Trust, UK

Dr. Winfried Mayr, Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Vienna, Austria

Event Fee
IFESS members €0.00
Non-IFESS members (approx. £ 5.65 and $ 6.34) €6.50

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