PP0314 - Week Three

Go to the Physiotherapy Management of Spinal Cord Injuries

Go to the Pre-Course Activities

Go to the Course Activities


In case you missed it here is the week three email.

Task 1: Bed mobility and transfers: understanding movement (1 hour) 

Complete the online lesson - Bed mobility: understanding movement


The aim of this lesson is to equip students and inexperienced clinicians with the skills to teach transfers and bed mobility to people with paraplegia and C6 tetraplegia. Emphasis will be on identifying the movement strategies commonly used by people with SCI to perform these motor tasks and the common impairments that contribute to limitations in function. The lesson involves viewing and analysing videos of skilled and novice performances of bed mobility and transfers.

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  • list the movement strategies used by people with C6 tetraplegia to roll, move from lying to sitting and transfer onto a bed
  • list the movement strategies used by people with paraplegia to roll, move from lying to sitting, transfer onto a bed and transfer off the floor
  • analyse the movement strategies of skilled performances
  • identify common impairments that prevent learning of these motor tasks
  • develop a treatment plan based on impairments and activity limitations
  • list the equipment that is useful for bed mobility and transfers
  • evaluate the success of treatments

Task 2: Gait: understanding movement (1 hour)

Complete online lesson - Gait: understanding movement


The aim of this lesson is to provide an overview of the implications of different patterns of lower limb paralysis on gait. Participants will learn about the standing and walking options for people with common types of SCI.

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  • identify the walking options for people with different types of SCI
  • identify the standing options and equipment required for people with different types of SCI
  • define the role of major lower limb muscles in gait
  • list the implications of paralysis of major lower limb muscles on gait
  • describe the biomechanical principles of different types of orthoses
  • outline the principles of gait training
  • list some of the common ways of measuring gait

Task 3: Suggested reading (0.5 hour)

Read the following Read some or all of the following (as time permits): :

Task 4: Discussion (0.5 hour)

Go to the Facebook group for all online discussions.

There are 2 main discussion threads for this week. They are:

1. Transfers. Think about transfers for people with C6 motor complete lesions. Why is this transfer difficult for these people? Can you find some videos or photos that show different ways they transfer or tricks or aids they may use? How long do you think it takes a person with a C6 motor complete lesion to learn to transfer? Are you able to provide sufficient rehabilitation in your country to enable these patients to gain independence with these transfers? Sometimes, you and your patient might decide that learning to transfer independently is not an appropriate goal. Why? What are the implications on daily life if a person with C6 motor complete lesion can not transfer?

2. Gait. What do you think about standing and walking all people with SCI on treadmills with overhead suspension and 2 or 3 people to move the legs, or walking people with SCI on the spot with robotic devices? So post a short argument for or against this approach. When might these approaches be appropriate? What is the rationale for these approaches? Would it be wise in invest in this technology in your country? What does the evidence say? What do people with SCI think? Does walking on a treadmill eliminate all compensations? Are compensations something to be avoided at all costs? Have you found an interesting website or article about this?

Optional: Other Resources and Activities

The following resources are optional for you to read/view but will further expand your knowledge on this week's topics:

  • Read some or all of the references provided at the end of each online lesson you have done this week. Click here or here to access.
  • Look at videos of people with SCI transferring, moving about bed and performing various other mobility tasks. Click here or here  or here to access.
  • Explore some of the newly available technologies which enables people with paralysis of the lower limbs to walk. Click here to view a video.
  • Read up about neural plasticity following SCI and how this is influencing physiotherapy. Click here to view a video.

Management of Spinal Cord Injuries 

This is the course textbook which will be available to all participants of the course for FREE for the duration of the course.

Access the book here!

Alternatively you might be interested in keeping your own copy of the book.

Buy with 20% discount by clicking here!! (if you have trouble getting a delivery to your country please let us know and we can help)

Purchase E-book

Checklist for the week

1. Completed the following lessons within the physiotherapy-specific module on www.elearnSCI.org:

  • Bed mobility and transfers
  • Gait

2. Read part of 2 chapters of the course textbook

3. Contributed to the Facebook discussion

4. Looked at additional resources (optional)