Circulatory responses during arm exercise in individuals with paraplegia

Int J Sports Med. 1994 Apr;15(3):126-31. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1021033.


Since there is an increasing demand for sport and exercise in daily life activities and rehabilitation of persons with a spinal cord injury, it is important to gain insight into the circulatory responses during exercise in these individuals. Recently, some studies have addressed this issue. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to review briefly the current knowledge on circulatory responses during submaximal and maximal arm exercise in individuals with paraplegia and the differences in these responses compared to able-bodied persons. Emphasis is placed on the redistribution of blood during arm exercise in persons with paraplegia. Special attention is focused on the so-called "venous blood pooling" below the spinal cord lesion and the available techniques to support the redistribution. In addition, the effect of heat stress on the circulatory adjustment during exercise and the influence the level of the lesion has on the circulatory responses are outlined. Topics for future research are suggested throughout the paper.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology*
  • Blood Circulation / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Paraplegia / physiopathology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology