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Exercise heart rate and physical activity after SCI

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Why study physical activity and participation? High-level SCI can cause damage to nerves that regulate the cardiovascular system, making it hard for affected individuals to regulate their heart rate and blood pressure. As a consequence, blood pressure can be very low in people with high-level SCI, and their heart rates are often slow and fail to increase as they should during exercise. Continue reading

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Arterial stiffness after SCI and interventions

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What is “central arterial stiffness,” and why is it important? Arterial stiffness is the consequence of many modifiable and non-modifiable factors that include age, gender, physical activity levels, family history, diet, body composition, and blood pressure level. An increase in arterial stiffness is directly correlated with cardiovascular (CV) disease and the hardening and loss of elasticity of the arteries in the heart and brain. Continue reading

Do caster size and weight distribution affect wheelchair rolling resistance?

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Does size matter? As you are probably aware, propelling a wheelchair is not a very efficient use of your energy. You have probably heard that the type of tires you use and the importance of inflating them regularly makes a big difference to how much energy you use, but have you thought about the size of your front wheels, called casters? Continue reading

A phone-monitored upper limb home exercise program for post-stroke individuals

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Post stroke recovery– The ideal rehabilitation program: Up to 75% of stroke survivors have upper limb impairments that make everyday tasks like grasping a cup or utensil difficult. Many of these individuals become reluctant to use their affected limb in daily activities (called “learned non-use”). This can be detrimental to their long-term health, since reduced arm use has been associated with consequences such as decreased strength and bone density. Continue reading

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The costs of autonomic dysreflexia for people with SCI

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What is Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD)? AD is a life-threatening condition that can develop as a common secondary condition for people with spinal cord injuries. It is triggered by an overstimulation of the autonomic nervous system—the system responsible for all unconscious bodily functions such as the heart control and breathing. Continue reading