• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

A conventional and an alternative guide to SCI

  • Jamie
  • News

Here are two books about spinal cord injury that you might find interesting.


The ‘Very Alternative Guides’ is a new series of books – actually until now there is just this one out – which address serious life issues in a light-hearted manner. The books mix informative text with large and colourful graphics, aiming to provide people living with specific injuries with material which can help and support them.

The first guide is about spinal cord injury (SCI). According to the promotion website, the book is “an informative look at the ups, downs and sideways of becoming spinal cord injured. From initial injury, to escaping hospital and beyond; this guide may help you or someone you know survive – and maybe smile – as life takes a frankly painful and hugely unexpected path.”

It further claims that the book “is a unique combination of health information, real life experiences and visual content. It breaks conventions by using humour to tackle issues that aren’t easy to discuss. Bright, eye-catching, funny and sarcastic… you won’t find a book on spinal cord injury like it anywhere.”

As a self-proclaimed contrast to “complicated, medical texts” and “dull as dishwater hospital booklets”, the book can make a nice addition when in search of simple answers to practical questions for people with SCI, their family and friends.

The website states that the book provides “first-hand experience” and “has been written using the hard born stories of those who have done it”. The author Dr Anthony Papathomas is lecturer at Loughborough University and member of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, both at Leicestershire, UK. He works on the psychology of health and illness. His research into SCI has been published and presented in various international journals and conferences.

A reviewer who is cited on the website says: “After a spinal cord injury or illness, we know that humour can help, information can help, and support can help. This book brilliantly combines all these elements. It has a role for relatives and staff also, touching on very difficult subjects with honesty and wit” (Helen Smith, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, London Spinal Cord Injury Centre). 

If you are seeking a more conventional book, check out the  ‘Mayo Clinic Guide to Living with a Spinal Cord Injury: Moving Ahead with Your Life’. The book description states that it gives advice about “everything from emotional adjustments, to skin care, to home and car modifications, to quality-of-life improvements”. The guide encourages readers to resume their favourite hobbies, participate in athletic activities and return to the workplace. It is described as an “indispensable guide” which offers a “complete picture of the road to recovery”.

The authors of the book are medical specialists working at the Mayo Clinic Spinal Cord Injury Program. This program provides services to people with SCI in an interdisciplinary setting. It aims to help each person reach their optimal functional ability, level of wellness, quality of life, and re-entry to the community.

Here you can find readers' reviews on the book and here you find more information and can order the book

What do you think about these books? Which one would you find more interesting to read?

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