Sequential treatment of chronic constipation in paraplegic subjects

D. Badiali, F. Bracci, V. Castellano, E. Corazziari, U. Fuoco, F. I. Habib, G. Scivoletto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic constipation is the main gastrointestinal complaint of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, and has a significant effect on patients' lives, concerning nursing dependence, morbidity and complications. Many therapies have been proposed to treat chronic severe constipation, most of them with limited effect or being unpredictable in their effect or being expensive or very radical. Ten spinal cord injury patients have been submitted to a therapeutic protocol based on a high residue diet, a standardised water intake, and on the use of a sequential schedule of evacuating stimuli. After four weeks of treatment the patients showed an increased frequency of bowel movements per week, a decreased total gastrointestinal transit time, and a decreased need for oral and rectal laxatives. This treatment seems to be effective in modifying patients' bowel habits, and therefore could be considered as a standardised protocol for the management of severe constipation in those who are paraplegic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Chronic constipation
  • Diet
  • Paraplegia
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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