Following a spinal cord injury (SCI), sensory, motor and autonomic functions can be impaired or completely lost. Between 2014-15, there were 264 new incident cases of traumatic SCI in Australia. Of those with resultant tetraplegia, half spent approximately 7 months or longer in hospital before being discharged home. There is a great demand for the availability of accessible and effective exercise interventions for those who return home following a SCI, wanting to successfully reintegrate back into the community. Through the implementation of the principles of neuroplasticity, exercise physiologists can learn to design and deliver highly effective community exercise programs for individuals with spinal cord injuries.
The recording is of a webinar presented by ESSA on 19 June 2019.
Presented by Ms Marissa Sparks, AES, AEP
Since graduating with a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology from UNSW, Marissa has had a passion to improve the quality of life of individuals living with neurological conditions. As an accredited exercise physiologist for Spinal Cord Injury Australia’s NeuroMoves exercise services, Marissa works extensively with spinal cord injury, brain injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s clients across multiple sites in Sydney. Whilst working in a range of different service levels from individual activity based therapy to strength and conditioning programs, Marissa finds herself most drawn to NeuroMoves community centred group program. Providing effective, accessible, social and fun exercise to those who are typically socially isolated following their diagnosis creates an uplifting environment to work in each day. Alongside her clients, Marissa coordinates and supervises EP students from across 5 Sydney universities each year.
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