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 longer that way. The fact that your body or parts of your body feel numb or can no longer be felt and...

The objective of a healthy diet is not only to ensure you get the nutrients you need, but also to provide delicious food that you enjoy eating and that improves the quality of your life.

During the different rehabilitation and life phases of a person with a spinal cord injury, it is important to avoid a poor diet and the complications that this leads to. As dietary requirements are individual ...

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 st...

Erectile dysfunction

Men with spinal cord injury (SCI) may experience erection problems, also known as “erectile dysfunction”. This is the case if it becomes permanently impossible to have an erection that lasts long enough to have sexual intercourse. It depends on the level of SCI and whether it is a complete or incomplete SCI. In general, however, the higher the level of SCI, the greater the...

Lubrication (vaginal lubrication)

Lubrication is a lubricating fluid that is secreted by glands during sexual arousal. Lubrication occurs during the peak period of sexual arousal and facilitates penetration.

Depending on the level of paralysis, women with spinal cord injury (SCI) might show fewer or no physical signs of sexual arousal. However, this does not mean that they are not aroused.

P...

Libido – the desire for sex

Libido is the desire for and pleasure of sex. In men, it depends on a certain amount of the sexual hormone testosterone and in women, the hormone oxytocin plays an important role. Libido is triggered through the senses, e. g. through touching, pictures, taste, smell or music. People with spinal cord injury may have as much desire as people without SCI since the ab...

Women with a spinal cord injury are just as capable of having a child of their own as able-bodied women. Men’s fertility is frequently impaired by a spinal cord injury. As described in the previous chapters, there are still medical possibilities to help you realise your wish to have a child.

Therefore, from a medical perspective, there is nothing to say that you cannot become a mother or a fat...

Sweating, giving it your all, exercising outdoors and enjoying nature, scoring a point with the team, celebrating, training, learning new movements, waiting attentively for the starting pistol, forgetting the time as you are doing laps … Whether you have paraplegia or tetraplegia, you can do sports in your wheelchair, and there are a variety of types of sports and options available. Being confi...

Awareness of the body, regulating effects on spasticity, free and deeper breathing, feeling well and an increased fitness: These are only a few aspects of the feedback with regard to positive effects that yoga can have for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Enough reasons for us, to have a closer look at this ancient tradition.

Originally, yoga is an Indian (also Tibetan) philosophical trad...

Hippotherapy is a recognized treatment of physiotherapy that uses a small horse. During hippotherapy the rhythmical three-dimensional movements of the horse are transferred on the patient and can thus be used therapeutically without the patient actively influencing the horse. Even the transfer itself – mounting and dismounting the horse – forms an essential part of the treatment.

Transfer fr...