Corresponding author:Thomas J. Birk, PhD, MPT, FACSM, Professor and Associate Dean Office of Academic and Student Affairs College of Health Sciences 899 Enderis Hall P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413, USA
Received: August 18, 2017; Published: August 28, 2017
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Suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI) constitutes numerous neurologic, vascular and muscular problems below the level of injury. Neurologic problems can include sensation and motor impairments which can limit effective and efficient mobility and jeopardize safety. Vascular problems can include reductions in thigh blood flow, femoral artery diameter, vascular reactivity and capillary alterations . Muscular problem alterations have included atrophy, particularly of type 2 fibers and eventually a shift from type 1 to type 2B . These skeletal-muscle changes seemingly paralleling vascular reductions, over time, increase the risk of secondary clinical conditions such as pressure ulcers and cardiovascular disease . Bone mineral density reductions and architecture due to lack of mechanical loading have been observed within 12 months post SCI . Skeletal-muscle atrophy, bone density decreases and vascular insufficiencies, coupled with motor impairments can lead to subsequent mobility and gait problems.