The challenges and rewards of Paralympic medicine

July 5, 2012

In the Lancet paper, "Paralympic medicine," Nick Webborn of the British Paralympic Association and Peter Van de Vliet of the International Paralympic Committee Medical and Scientific Department, outline some of the issues that arise for health-care professionals when maintaining health in elite athletes with a variety of impairments.

They point out that the complex mix of medical issues among Paralympic athletes can be challenging for health-care providers and event medical staff, and call for increased awareness of Paralympians' health needs among . They also call for more research into the long-term potential for injuries caused by the latest prosthetic technologies, with very little scientific understanding currently available of the types of injuries and stresses that these technologies may cause.

The authors also examine the issue of performance enhancement in Paralympic athletes, with some practices – such as Botulinum toxin being used to control spasticity in athletes with Cerebral palsy – resulting in athletes' classification altering. The danger of voluntary inducement of autonomic dysreflexia – where athletes with spinal injuries give themselves a painful stimulus to trigger a reaction that results in performance-enhancing high blood pressure – is also highlighted.

"Provision of health care for Paralympic is probably the most challenging and rewarding area of sports medicine," say the authors. "The complex mix of medical issues can be challenging for health-care providers and medical staff at the events, and the medical needs of the athlete group need to be understood and trained appropriately."

Explore further: Kids who specialize in one sport may have higher injury risk

More information: www.thelancet.com/series/sports-and-exercise-medicine

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

Smartphones uncover how the world sleeps

May 6, 2016

A pioneering study of worldwide sleep patterns combines math modeling, mobile apps and big data to parse the roles society and biology each play in setting sleep schedules.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.