Health and fitness in pediatric spinal cord injury: Medical issues and the role of exercise

Therese E. Johnston, Craig M McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children with spinal cord injury (SCI) are at risk for the same health related complications experienced by adults with SCI; however, children are likely at increased risk due to the young age at which the injury was sustained. Common health related complications impact the cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and fractures, as well as impacting the ability to complete everyday tasks. The available literature shows that children and adults with SCI have a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome and decreased muscle mass, resting energy expenditure, peak oxygen consumption, and bone mineral density. Exercise may have an impact on these complications, thus increasing overall health and fitness. Some literature is available on the effects of exercise for adults with SCI, but few studies have examined these effects for children. Pediatric and adult studies have shown some positive effects on muscle mass, resting energy expenditure, peak oxygen consumption, and bone mineral density. However, more research is needed to develop optimal exercise programs that adequately address long-term health in children who have a long lifetime ahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • exercise
  • fitness
  • metabolic syndrome
  • pediatric
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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