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Spinal Cord Injury

  • By: Mark S. Nash & Rachel E. Cowan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Disruption of spinal cord neurotransmission accompanying trauma, disease, infection, or vascular accident affects 8000 to 12,000 Americans annually. About 80% of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) affect men, most in their third and fourth decades of life. Primary causes differ by geographical region but typically include motor vehicle accidents, injuries from sports and recreation, and violence. About half of those with SCI sustain trauma or have diseases in the cervical spinal cord (tetraplegia) and about half in the thoracic and lumbar cord (paraplegia).

Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries on Fitness and Health

Disruption of spinal transmission accompanying SCIs decays to varying degrees the highly integrated central control of motor, sensory, and autonomic functions. Dysregulation of these functions is typically expressed through diminished sensorimotor control, with loss of ambulation ...

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