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 activities of all the organ systems and is adapted and to meet environmental requirements. The...

Injuries resulting from accidents

There are different elements in the movement segments which behave differently after an injury: bony structures and band structures. In bony spine injuries, we differentiate between three main types of fractures:

  1. Compression fracture
  2. Distraction injury
  3. Rotation injury

The spine can be compared to two columns. The ventral1 column consists of the body...

What is autonomic dysregulation?

Autonomic dysregulation is a regulation problem that leads to an overstimulation of the autonomic nervous system. In the case of a spinal cord injury (SCI), this may occur above the seventh thoracic vertebra. Autonomic dysregulation can be triggered through various stimuli, mostly through stimuli in the bladder or bowel area. These stimuli cause an...

Definition of pain

Pain is a complex sensation similar to a feeling. Pain is always subjective; it cannot be measured or proven and also not rebutted. Since the 1970s there has been an official definition by the International Association for the Study of Pain which applies for acute and also for chronic pain:

"Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or...

What causes pressure sores?

Long-lasting pressure or also brief, strong pressure on one part of the skin can cause a decrease in blood flow inside the tissue. The skin presents red spots that do not turn white when pressing. Skin hardens if it is repeatedly exposed to strain at the same point.

This reddening of the skin is caused by dead cells and requires decompression. The strain needs to...

How do we define sensitivity?

With sensitivity, we mean our fifth sense, namely feeling. Different from the other four senses, sensitivity is not perceived through a sensory organ such as vision is through the eyes. Our sensory system retrieves information from numerous nerve endings and receptors1 that are spread all over our body. This system gives us feedback from our body through...

What is heterotopic ossification?

Heterotopic ossifications (synonyms: myositis ossificans, periarticular ossifications PAO) are cases where muscle tissue is rapidly transformed into bone-like, calcified tissue. They occur in 20 – 30 % of people with spinal cord injuries, typically 1 – 5 months after paralysis.

The soft tissue around the hips is most frequently affected, often on both sides....

What are contractures and how do they develop?

Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently attributable to the patient’s positioning. They occur when muscles and joints are not stretched or moved often enough. If, for example, the knees are...

Wheelchair users are at increased risk of infections which have to be treated with antibiotics. Taking antibiotics frequently increases the risk of harbouring multi-resistant germs.

How can you avoid multi-resistant germs becoming a health issue for you?

Multi-resistant germs – what are they?

There are numerous bacteria on everyone’s skin and mucous membranes (mouth, nose, etc.). This is...

Pain is a basic human experience that we are often confronted with in our lives – sometimes even on a daily basis. We hit our head, our wisdom teeth are aching or we get a headache when the weather changes.

There are different types of pain. Musculoskeletal pain can be treated with conventional measures, as well as with physical measures. But many people with spinal cord injury (SCI) suffer...