Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Resources
If you or a family member are recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI), please browse the resources below researched by the Inpatient Rehabilitation team at the University of Vermont Medical Center. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please feel free to give us a call at 802-847-5353.
Spinal Cord Injury General Resources
- UVM Medical Center SCI Manual – the UVM Medical Center has created a Spinal Cord Injury Binder, which all our patients receive in a 3-ring binder.
- Facing Disability Facebook Group – A private Facebook group for people with spinal cord injuries and their families.
- Paralyzed Veterans of America – The Paralyzed Veterans of America has produced free downloadable books and cover access to federal health programs, working with managed care, and many details of living with a spinal cord injury in their book “Yes You Can.”
- Consumer Guides – This resource from the Paralyzed Veterans of America has 15 publications that can be downloaded for free, that cover expected recovery by spinal cord injury level as well as particular topics of interest to people with spinal cord injury.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Anatomy and Types of Spinal Cord Injuries (video)
- Understanding Spinal Cord Injury Part 1 (PDF) – Details on anatomy and ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association)
- Understanding Spinal Cord Injury Part 2 (PDF) – General information on recovery and rehabilitation
Taking Care of Yourself
- How to Self-Catheterize: For The Female Patient (video)
- How to Self-Catheterize: For The Male Patient (video)
- Bowel Management After Spinal Cord Injury (video)
- Bowel Function After Spinal Cord Injury (fact sheets)
- Sexuality and Disability – This site is dedicated to women with disabilities with a focus on body awareness, sexuality, relationships and childbearing.
- Sex After Spinal Cord Injury – This video explores many aspects of sexuality after SCI.
- Dr. Mitchell Tepper – Dr. Tepper is a certified sexuality therapist living with SCI and addresses many concerns about sexuality for a variety of abilities and conditions on his website.
Mental Health and Spinal Cord Injury
- Depression and Spinal Cord Injury – This tip sheet covers most aspects of adjustment after SCI. It may be helpful to discuss your individual needs with your treatment team to learn what resources are available at the UVM Medical Center and in your community.
- Pain after Spinal Cord Injury – Fact sheets and a podcast
- Spasticity and Spinal Cord Injury – A helpful fact sheet on spasticity and what to expect.
Mobility and Transfers
- Safe Transfer Technique – A slideshow that covers all basic paraplegic mobility techniques
- QuadFitness - These videos cover bed mobility, mat scooting, supine, long sit, mat progression, and transfers for quadriplegic injuries.
- Clinical Kinesiology – Quadriplegia – This series of videos is specifically for therapists wishing to learn more about how to help teach mobility skills for all levels of quadriplegia, and can sometimes be useful for patients to watch too.
- Wheelchair Skills Video Series – Car Transfers
- Wheelchair Skills Video Series – Floor Transfers
- How to Transfer from Floor to Chair
- Paralyzed Living – YouTube channel for paraplegic day-to-day mobility in home and community.
- Rachelle Friedman Chapman YouTube Channel – Rachel Friedman is a person with C5-6 quadriplegia who has many videos of her day-to-day life including driving.
- Basic Wheelchair Skills
- Wheelchair Skills Video Series – Wheelchair Pushing - Design – A basic video for propulsion technique.
- Wheelchair Skills: SCI Empowerment Project – The University of Washington has a series of videos for all mobility (including areas already covered above) that demonstrate a lot of basic into some advanced techniques:
- Advanced Wheelchair Skills (wheelies, curbs) – We recommend that these skills be learned and taught in the following order, with these videos as a resource. It's best that you learn these skills with an experienced therapist (do not try these at home):
- Real World people Using Wheelies in the Community
- Caregiver Techniques to assist with advanced mobility/uneven terrain
Locally we have several organizations that provide access to sports via instruction, equipment loan/rental, and access to scholarships and grants to help people to participate.
- VermontAdaptive.org includes alpine skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and environmental programs for all abilities.
- DisabledAthletics.org promotes and provides opportunities for people with physical disabilities to pursue a variety of recreational sports and competitive athletics.
- KellyBrushFoundation.org empowers those with paralysis to lead engaged and fulfilling lives through sport and recreation.
- Accesstr.com provides adaptive recreation equipment (only) for those with physical disabilities.
Learn how best to maintain your wheelchair, along with some advice about when to call your vendor.
- Home Adaptations and Modifications after Spinal Cord Injury –This 44-minute video demonstrates many of the options for home modification.
- Wheelchair Accessible Home – This 14-minute video shows one person's choices in new construction for a wheelchair accessible home.
- Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) – The Vermont Center for Independent Living has a Home Access Program that can provide funding (up to certain income limits) and assistance in finding someone to build a ramp or modify a bathroom.
- SmartHome.com – This website has a large variety of home automation and accessibility devices to consider. While not designed for people with SCI many have found useful devices and information.
- Housing and Home Modifications - a compilation of many resources on housing that are available nationwide.
Community Access and Travel
- Driver Rehabilitation at the UVM Medical Center – Decide what equipment you'll need to return to driving.
- Vermont Agency of Transportation.
- Paralyzed Living – This YouTube channel demonstrates all aspects of living with SCI, including accessing the community by driving and air travel.
- Magee Rehab Airline Travel Video – A detailed airport and air travel video including managing a power wheelchair in security and at the gate.
- Wheel Chair Travel – This travel blog covers most aspects of travel by air and train in the US, Europe and beyond.