The role of adapted/therapeutic exercise for paraplegic patients
Paraplegia is a severe condition leading to paralysis and significant limitations to individuals’ lives. Secondary health complications, psychological disorders and social difficulties, make persons with spinal injuries susceptible to serious hazards in various aspects. Considering the fact individuals with SCI are one of the most inactive parts of society, the objective of this overview is to present the role and benefits of adapted exercise for SCI population. The outcome of studies yield credible evidence that becoming physically active post SCI, is a critical factor for preserving overall health and health-related quality of life. Systematic physical activity and/or sport have important positive impact upon physical and psychosocial well-being by improving fitness, physical conditioning and health, helping in medical risks prevention, affecting the psychological status, promoting social participation and facilitating functional independence and quality of life of individuals. Exercise recommendations, guidelines and special considerations for the spinal injured people –with emphasis in paraplegia- are also discussed, since it must be specialized and adapted to the demands and restrictions of this condition. Acknowledging this multidimensional role of physical activity, future research is needed to further determine health outcomes in specific domains and the optimal elements and guidelines for physical activity.
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