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Spinal Cord Injury Information

Information on Spinal Cord Injury Research, Treatments, Medicines and Quality of Life

No barrier is unbreakable! By Tamara Mena

Published: November 14, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury: ,

I am Tamara Mena and I am 30 years old. I’m a host, model, and motivational speaker. Continue Reading »

BOOK: I’m Not Broken

Published: October 15, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury:
book-cover-im-not-broken

I’m Not Broken

Twenty-something Samantha McCormick wakes up in the hospital to learn she has a spinal cord injury from a car accident, and she’s paralyzed from the waist down. It doesn’t take her long to begin to master the new physical challenges in her life. But she’s haunted by the blurred lines between dreams and a fractured reality full of broken memories of the accident. Brian Haines is the physical therapist assigned to Sam to help her regain her independence and sense of self. He’s devoted to his task, but his commitment to working with Sam eventually transitions from dedication to something more personal. Sam is thrilled and flattered by the attention. Yet, all the while she can’t help but think she might be missing important memories and pieces of information, and she worries her new life is little more than a fragile house of cards. Continue Reading »

How-To: Yoga Poses from Your Wheelchair

Published: October 11, 2016

yoga-poses-from-your-wheelchairAdaptive Yoga

Yoga – is this evoking images of a human pretzel? The good news is that you don’t have tie yourself in a knot to reap the benefits of yoga. Whether you are in a wheelchair or power chair, yoga is an adaptable activity for people of all abilities.

Benefits of Practicing Yoga

  • Increased strength, balance and flexibility — both mental and physical
  • Greater lung capacity
  • Reduced levels of stress, tension and anxiety
  • Improved mental clarity and focus
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • More restful sleep

Best Wheelchair Yoga Videos on YouTube
Continue Reading »

Gesture-controlled Internet of Things (IoT) extends freedom for the disabled

Published: September 26, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury:

superman-1529274_1920-100684161Quadriplegics can do more on their own with the Sesame Enable app that uses head gestures to control Internet of Things (IoT) devices

Christopher Reeve is famous as Superman in movies. As the man of steel with amazing superpowers, he was unbeatable.

In real life, though, a bad fall from his horse left Reeve a quadriplegic. How suddenly life changes. One day you’re a hero with superpowers. The next day you’ve lost control of your body. Continue Reading »

How SoCal Doctors Used Basketball to Rehabilitate Paralyzed Vets

Published: August 23, 2016

The Devils vs Oakland Bittners in 1947The popular wheelchair sport helped to launch the Paralympics in 1960

Jerry Fesenmeyer was an 18-year-old Iowa farm boy when he and his fellow marines from the First Division engaged in a desperate firefight with Japanese soldiers on the island of Okinawa. The date was June 5, 1945. Fesenmeyer was advancing toward Shuri Castle when he spotted an enemy soldier perched in a tree. He jumped from behind a wall to surprise him, only to find himself looking down the barrel of a Nambu sniper rifle.

The bullet entered Fesenmeyer’s chest between the heart and the shoulder, clipped a lung, and exited through his spine. Blood shot from his body like a geyser. “Fessy’s hit! Fessy’s hit!” someone was yelling as he blacked out. Continue Reading »

Monitoring upper-limb recovery after cervical spinal cord injury: insights beyond assessment scores.

Published: August 18, 2016

Background: Pre-clinical investigations in animal models demonstrate that enhanced upper-limb (UL) activity during rehabilitation promotes motor recovery following spinal cord injury (SCI). Despite this, following SCI in humans, no commonly applied training protocols exist and therefore activity-based rehabilitative therapies (ABRT) vary in frequency, duration and intensity. Quantification of UL recovery is limited to subjective questionnaires or scattered measures of muscle function and movement tasks. Continue Reading »

Just Don’t Dive! Go in Feet First to Avoid Spinal Cord Injuries

Published: August 1, 2016

Diving into a pool or lake during summer activities may land you in a wheelchair for the rest of your life; over 800 people per year suffer a spinal cord injury from diving in head first. These injuries are preventable—just remember to always go in feet first when entering pools, ponds, lakes, and the ocean.

Perhaps you didn’t see a sign warning you of danger. Maybe you didn’t know that the “No Diving” sign meant the water was too shallow. Or you thought the water was deep enough because it had been the last time you dove in. But 1000 other people thought that too and ended up with broken necks, paralysis, or even worse, didn’t make it through the injury. Continue Reading »

Things you might not know about Autonomic Dysreflexia

Published: July 17, 2016

blood pressure autonomic dysreflexiaThe body is a series of checks and balances. This is true of muscles that push and countering muscles that pull. It is also true of the nervous system that operates in a balancing type of process. Individuals with higher level spinal cord injury can develop a complication called Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD). This is a condition where the sympathetic nervous system is left unchecked by the parasympathetic nervous system.

There is a bundle of nerves at the Thoracic vertebrae number six (T6) level that is a major junction where nerves come close together in the spinal cord. Individuals with spinal cord injury above this level have a disruption in the nerve segment. For these individuals, stimulation of the body at or below T6 can send confusing messages to the brain as the message will create a huge discharge of the sympathetic nervous system using all of the blood flow in the abdomen without the counter control of the parasympathetic nervous system to contain it. Blood pressure rises to extremely high proportions. Continue Reading »

Mower Attachment for disabled people in wheelchairs

Published: July 7, 2016 | Spinal Cord Injury:

A man’s friend wanted to be able to mow the yard after his legs have lost function from M.S. so he built him this. Continue Reading »

Improving cell transplantation after spinal cord injury: When, where and how?

Published: May 31, 2016

Spinal cord injuries are mostly caused by trauma, often incurred in road traffic or sporting incidents, often with devastating and irreversible consequences, and unfortunately having a relatively high prevalence (250,000 patients in the USA; 80% of cases are male). One currently explored approach to restoring function after spinal cord injury is the transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) into the damaged area. The hope is that these will encourage the repair of damaged neurons, but does it work? And if so, how can it be optimized? Continue Reading »