Daily Archives: May 2, 2005
We frequently receive calls for information on local support groups. Although there are thousands of people with all over the US, there are not always support groups for those that want them. Support groups provide a valuable service not only for counseling and support, but also for socializing and information sharing. “Old timers” have information to share with newer injuries, and groups have more influence with vendors or medical professionals to present information and products. If there is not a support group in the area, people frequently ask how they can start one in their area. The process of beginning a support group can initially seem daunting, however, it is easier if we break it into little pieces — what I call the five P’s:
People, Planning, Place, Publicity and Programming.
Hand surgery can play a very important role in the Rehabilitation of selected individuals with paralysis following spinal cord injury. When the spinal cord is injured as a result of a fracture or dislocation in the neck, or as a result of direct injury to the spinal cord from a bullet, knife, tumor or other disorder there is a profound disturbance of function at the level of injury and a loss of voluntary control of all muscles and sensory function that occur below that level. Individuals with these injuries are often referred to as persons with Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia because all four limbs have at least some degree of paralysis.
The ultimate dream for many people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) – or for those who care about someone with SCI – is that a cure will be found as quickly as possible. Every few months a newspaper, magazine, or television show seems to re-port a new “breakthrough” for people with SCI, yet those optimistic reports never seem to be followed by stories of people “cured” of SCI. If these scientific “breakthroughs” are occurring, then why is SCI still incurable? Why don’t these “breakthroughs” lead to actual improvements in the conditions of those whom we know have a SCI?
Many people are unaware that there is a special branch of medicine specifically dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of physical Disability. Physiatrists are doctors who are certified as specialists in Rehabilitation medicine by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
The area of medicine they practice is called “physiatry.” Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) was born in 1946 in response to the challenge to help disabled citizens reach their maximum potential.
Arranging travel is a fairly straight-forward process for non-disabled individuals. Most people contact a travel agency, choose a destination and hope that their baggage and the sun follow them.
For the traveler with a spinal cord injury (SCI), or other Disability, there is much more to consider when planning a trip. Anxiety about air-travel, the accessibility of accommodations and transportation and attitudinal barriers can be extra “baggage” for the novice traveler with SCI. With proper planning, these issues can be minimized, and often avoided.
What is Functional Electrical Stimulation?
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) can be applied to a wide variety of research and treatment approaches. Frequently asked questions about FES include: What is FES? How can FES help me? Will FES help me to walk again? FES is the most important application in the field of clinical treatment with currents or magnetism. This technique artificially generates neural activity in order to overcome lost functions of paralyzed, incontinent or sensory impaired persons. The term “functional electrical stimulation” can be used to describe a variety of therapeutic techniques and experimental treatment approaches.
The extent to which sexual function is impaired depends on a variety of factors; the level of injury, the severity of damage, and the individual’s gender.
Since a spinal cord injury (SCI) affects virtually every system of the human body, many people who sustain SCI have serious concerns about how their injuries have affected their ability to participate in and enjoy a sexual relationship. This document attempts to address some of the more common questions that arise on the topic of sex after a SCI. It also directs the reader to additional sources of more specific information.
Autonomic Dysreflexia, also known as Hyperreflexia, means an over-activity of the Autonomic Nervous System causing an abrupt onset of excessively high blood pressure. Persons at risk for this problem generally have injury levels above T-5. Autonomic dysreflexia can develop suddenly and is potentially life threatening and is considered a medical emergency. If not treated promptly and correctly, it may lead to seizures, stroke, and even death.
AD occurs when an irritating stimulus is introduced to the body below the level of spinal cord injury, such as an overfull bladder. The stimulus sends nerve impulses to the spinal cord, where they travel upward until they are blocked by the Lesion at the level of injury. Since the impulses cannot reach the brain, a Reflex is activated that increases activity of the sympathetic portion of autonomic nervous system. This results in spasms and a narrowing of the blood vessels, which causes a rise in the blood pressure.
The Urinary System is made up of five major parts:
The two kidneys filter waste and excess water from the blood and produce urine. Urine is being produced every minute of the day.
Each kidney has a thin, hollow tube that connects to the bladder. Urine flows down the ureters from the kidneys and empties into the bladder. The ureters have one-way valves in them, so even if you were to stand on your head, urine could not flow back to the kidneys from the bladder.
The bowel is the last portion of your digestive tract and is sometimes called the large intestine or colon. The digestive tract as a whole is a hollow tube that extends from the mouth to the anus.[drawing of the digestive tract]
The function of the digestive system is to take food into the body and to get rid of waste. The bowel is where the waste products of eating are stored until they are emptied from the body in the form of a bowel movement (stool, feces).