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: Newly recognized feature of athlete's heart found to be more prevalent in black male athletes

More information: www.thelancet.com/series/sport … nd-exercise-medicine

Related Stories

Newly recognized feature of athlete's heart found to be more prevalent in black male athletes

April 19, 2012
Left-ventricular hyper-trabeculation (LVHT) – a feature of certain cardiomyopathies (chronic disease of the heart muscle) – has been found to be more common in black, male athletes according to a new study presented ...

Nearly 30 percent of all college athlete injuries a result of 'overuse'

April 12, 2012
Overuse injuries –found most often in low-contact sports that involve long training sessions or where the same movement is repeated numerous times – make up nearly 30 percent of all injuries sustained by collegiate ...

Kids who specialize in one sport may have higher injury risk

May 2, 2011
Competitive young athletes are under increasing pressure to play only one sport year round, but such specialization could increase the risk of injuries, a Loyola University Health System study has found.

Female college athletes need better screening for health problems, researchers report

June 6, 2012
Female athletes, particularly those involved in high level college sports at the NCAA Division I level, are particularly prone to a trio of medical issues called the "female athlete triad." A new study conducted by sports ...

Recommended for you

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

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.