A spinal cord injury (SCI) has severe consequences for the persons affected. The inability to control certain movements, restrictions in daily living or work, the loss of independence or the inability to participate in certain societal activities with friends, an insecurity regarding the future, one's personal role and expectations towards oneself are just a few examples emphasizing the huge...

Today strawberry yogurt is on Anna’s* grocery list. In front of the dairy section she notices that she cannot reach the yogurt sitting in a wheelchair. Many stressed people are rushing through the crowded store during rush hour and she does not dare to ask for help.

Daniel* is just about to put his wheelchair into the car when a colleague from work comes by and wants to help him to pack it in...

Sexuality is a fundamental human need – the source of life, sensuality, pleasure and passion.

A spinal cord injury almost always affects the sexual functions. It interferes massively in the personal, intimate and social life of you and your partner. Altered body awareness can often influence your self-esteem, your psyche and your identity as a man or woman.

Burgdörfer and Kock describe the...

The arms and hands of wheelchair users are taking over most leg functions. Therefore, it is important to take care of them as well as to train and use them as much as possible from the beginning.

Aspects of optimal rehabilitation of the upper limbs:

  • positioning of the upper limbs
  • functional hand
  • functional training and activities of daily life (ADL)
  • functional electrical...

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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