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World J Orthop. Jul 18, 2014; 5(3): 158-162
Published online Jul 18, 2014. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v5.i3.158
Exercise awareness and barriers after spinal cord injury
Ashraf S Gorgey
Ashraf S Gorgey, Department of Veterans Affairs, Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center, Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Service, Richmond, VA 23249, United States
Ashraf S Gorgey, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23249, United States
Author contributions: Gorgey AS contributed solely to this editorial.
Correspondence to: Ashraf S Gorgey, MPT, PhD, FACSM, Director of the SCI Exercise and Body Composition Laboratory, Department of Veterans Affairs, Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center, Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Service, 1201 Broad Rock Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23249, United States. ashraf.gorgey@va.gov
Telephone: +1-804-6755000 Fax: +1-804-6755223
Received: December 13, 2013
Revised: March 27, 2014
Accepted: May 14, 2014
Published online: July 18, 2014

Exercise is an essential element in managing several of the non-communicable diseases after spinal cord injury (SCI). Awareness of the importance of prescribing a customized exercise program that meets the goals of persons with SCI should be highly considered in the rehabilitation community. The barriers of implementing specific exercise program as well as the factors that may mask the outcomes of regular exercise regimen need to be continuously addressed as a part of patients’ rehabilitation care. The focus of this editorial is to encourage the medical community to consider routine physical activity as one of the necessary vital signs that needs to be routinely checked in patients with SCI. Providing education tips, nutritional counseling and engaging in recreational programs may provide motivational route to the community of SCI. This may result in reinforcing active lifestyle in survivors with SCI as well as to reduce the impact of chronic life threatening medical disorders.

Keywords: Spinal cord injury, Rehabilitation, Exercise awareness, Barriers to exercise, Medical community

Core tip: Exercise is an essential component in managing persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Knowledge of the barriers that encounters prescribing exercise routine is essential to ensure successful engagement in active lifestyle after SCI. Interdisciplinary approach may be the key of addressing some of these barriers after SCI.