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The Physiology of Exercise in Spinal Cord Injury

  • Book
  • © 2016


  • It’s the only book surveying the physiologic systems impacted by Spinal Cord Injury in the context of exercise to date
  • The book is written for experts in physical and rehabilitation medicine, integrative physiology of exercise, adaptive exercise and sports, as well as for those with a spinal cord injury, their caregivers, and even their physicians
  • The contributing authors are among the most cited research scientists in the fields of spinal cord injury and exercise physiology

Part of the book series: Physiology in Health and Disease (PIHD)

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About this book

Every year, around the world, between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI). Those with an SCI are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than people without a spinal cord injury, with worse survival rates in low- and middle-income countries. Dynamic aerobic requires integrated physiologic responses across the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, autonomic, pulmonary, thermoregulatory, and immunologic systems. Moreover, regular aerobic exercise beneficially impacts these same systems, reducing the risk for a range of diseases and maladies. This book will present comprehensive information on the unique physiologic effects of SCI and the potential role of exercise in treating and mitigating these effects. In addition, it will incorporate work from scientists across a number of disciplines and have contributors at multiple levels of investigation and across physiologic systems. Furthermore, SCI can be considered an accelerated form of aging due to the severely restricted physical inactivity imposed, usually at an early age. Therefore, the information presented may have a broader importance to the physiology of aging as it relates to inactivity. Lastly, the need for certain levels of regular aerobic exercise to engender adaptations beneficial to health is not altered by the burden of an SCI. Indeed, the amounts of exercise necessary may be even greater than the able-bodied due to ‘passive’ ambulation. This book will also address the potential health benefits for those with an SCI that can be realized if a sufficient exercise stimulus is provided.

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Table of contents (14 chapters)


“This book offers a well-written and well-referenced comprehensive review of the physiological responses to exercise performed by people with spinal cord injury. … Rehabilitation clinicians are likely to find this book of particular interest, as will clinical researchers who are investigating this important and increasingly commonly studied topic. … a much needed and unmatched single comprehensive reference for professionals who are studying and designing clinical, community, or research programs on the topic of exercise for people with spinal cord injury.” (Elliot J. Roth, Doody’s Book Reviews, April, 2017)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge, Cambridge, USA

    J. Andrew Taylor

About the editor

Dr. Taylor is an integrative physiologist with a research focus on the human cardiovascular system and the effects of aging, exercise, and pathophysiology. He has conducted clinical/translational research on cardiovascular autonomic control at Harvard Medical School for over twenty years. His work has ranged across various pathophysiologic conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, disorders of sleep, and traumatic brain injury. A current primary area of research is exercise for those with spinal cord injuries to prevent inactivity-related cardiovascular deficits.

Bibliographic Information

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