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The windpipe, which is also known as the trachea, begins under the larynx and extends as far as the chest, where it is spread out into the bronchial system of the lungs. The windpipe is a stable, fixed tube through which inhaled air is conducted into the lungs. During a tracheotomy, access is created to the windpipe by bypassing the upper airways in order to guarantee unimpeded breathing or...

At a spinal cord injury (SCI) level where hand and arm muscles are only partially innervated or not at all (tetraplegics), many daily activities such as pressing a common TV remote control, grasping the telephone receiver or pressing the light switch can become impossible.

However, this loss of independence may be partly substituted through the use of assistive technologies.

To enter...

Flatulence is a common problem. Is it a problem for you too? People with spinal cord injuries are frequently affected due to a disorder in bowel functions.

Flatulence caused by nutrition

Flatulence can occur right after eating and be caused by the following foods, among others:

  • Cabbage
  • Herbs
  • Onions and other bulbous plants
  • High-fibre foods
  • High-sugar foods

Flatulence problems as...

What is a bladder stimulator?

A bladder stimulator is an implant with which the nerves of the bladder and bowel can be stimulated directly, enabling the bladder and bowel to be emptied. It can only be used on people with a complete spinal cord injury and spastic cystoparalysis.

How does a bladder stimulator work?

Signals are sent externally to an implanted receiver (D) using a controller...

Body & Complications

Structure of the spinal column and nervous system

The nervous system consists of a central, a peripheral and a vegetative part. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The nervous system is used for the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information. Together with the hormone systems, it controls the...

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Bladder & Bowel

Bladder paralysis


Normal bladder function

If the bladder is empty, the bladder muscle (detrusor) relaxes and the sphincter contracts – the bladder is shut.

The nerves connected to the bladder wall register the bladder stretching, and as it fills, they carry a message to the brain. During urination, the...

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Daily Life & Mobility

Personal care and clothing

Particular aspects of the skin in people with spinal cord injury (SCI)

The skin of the disabled body parts is more likely to dry out since the innervation1 of the skin glands does not function properly. Temperature-regulating perspiration is only possible above the paralysis level, although...

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Health & Sexuality

Spinal cord injury as a critical life event

The occurrence of a spinal cord injury, whether caused by an accident, illness or medical intervention, is unforeseeable and usually happens very quickly. It is like a turning point in life and nothing seems the same afterwards. Many things that used to be familiar, safe and controllable are no...

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