Rehabilitation for Motor Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

presented by Candy Tefertiller

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Although spinal cord injury has a low incidence rate compared to other diseases impacting the health care system in the United States, it still has a profound impact on our society. It often results in immediate catastrophic consequences, including loss of upright mobility and independence. Less than 1% of individuals who sustain spinal cord injury achieve complete neurologic recovery. Those who do not achieve full recovery are left to rely on a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility and may require assistance for activities of daily living (ADLs) due to impaired upper extremity function. In this course, Dr. Tefertiller will discuss how current research supports that intensive training focused on motor learning principles may allow some individuals to recover function even into the chronic stages of recovery. Additionally, this course will discuss how clinicians also need to utilize outcome measures specific to SCI to appropriately track and monitor changes in response to rehabilitation interventions.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Candy Tefertiller, PT, DPT, NCS

    Candy Tefertiller, PT, DPT, ATP, NCS, is the Director of Physical Therapy at Craig Hospital. Candy received a BS in Biology from Mount Olive College in 1997 and a master’s in Physical Therapy from East Carolina University in 2000. She then completed a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Rocky Mountain Health Care University in 2008. Candy has been working in the field of neurological rehabilitation since 2000. She received an assistive technology practitioner (ATP) certification in 2005 and became a certified neurological clinical specialist (NCS) in 2007. She has been involved in numerous research projects and has focused much of her career on interventions and program development promoting recovery after neurologic injury or disease. Candy is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Neurologic Section.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Evidence to Support Walking Recovery After Incomplete SCI

    1. Evidence to Support Walking Recovery After Incomplete SCI

    This chapter will discuss neuroplasticity and priming and common theories to understand the physiology behind these two concepts. This chapter will also review current literature supporting the potential to facilitate recovery after motor incomplete SCI.

  2. Implementing Motor Learning Principles

    2. Implementing Motor Learning Principles

    Ten motor learning principles will be reviewed along with demonstrations of how to implement them in the clinical setting to facilitate recovery after incomplete SCI. Case study examples will also be reviewed depicting the implementation of motor learning principles as well as important training parameters.

  3. Outcome Measure Recommendations

    3. Outcome Measure Recommendations

    This chapter will include a review of outcome measures that have been validated and found to be reliable in SCI. Outcome measures will be reviewed that were recently evaluated by group of expert SCI clinicians, and recommendations for use will be discussed specific to clinical utilization, research utilization, and academic exposure.