Effective exercise intensity in early rehabilitation of paraplegia

P. Capodaglio, C. Grilli, C. Pistarini, G. Fugazza, G. Bazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Greater knowledge of the responses to prolonged physical exertion of newly injured paraplegic patients during primary rehabilitation would facilitate the prescription of an effective conditioning program. Methods: Four newly injured male paraplegic subjects performed progressive resistance and endurance exercise tests on an arm cranking ergometer and arm strength tests with a computerized dynamometer. The individual 6-hour heart rates were monitored with a cardiotachometer and the daily energy expenditures were calculated. Cardiorespiratory parameters during exercise were monitored with an oxygen uptake analyzer and ratings of perceived exertion were given on Borg's 10-point scale. Tests were repeated after a 4-week self-paced training program. The prescription of exercise intensity was tailored to each patient's suhjectively and objectively tolerable power for prolonged exertion. Main findings: Improvements in endurance capacity after four weeks of training were monitored by the shifting of the iso-perception curves towards higher power output levels. We observed parallel improvements in functional scores (VFM scale), muscle strenght and physical work capacity in all subjects after the training program. Conclusions: We found that a 4-week program based on a 'moderate' intensity of exercise, according to Borg's scale, was sufficient for a proper conditioning of newly injured paraplegics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalEuropa Medicophysica
Volume31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Keywords

  • aerobic training
  • paraplegia
  • perceived exertion
  • physical work capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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