Spinal Cord Injury


Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) has been shown by researchers at NeuRA and Prince of Wales Hospital, to improve lung function by around 30% in people with a spinal cord injury. It may also reduce the risk of chest infections.   People who have engaged in inspiratory muscle training programs have reported: “IMT improved my strength and awareness of maintaining good breathing habits” – Gerry “After 6 weeks of IMT I had a reduced need for assisted coughs form my carer” – Will “I felt less breathless when sitting upright and could sit for longer” – Rex “IMT makes muscles for breathing stronger and I breathe better” – Julie “Training with the device meant I could talk for longer periods” – Greg   Prince of Wales Hospital and NeuRA have collaborated to develop a COVID-safe protocol for IMT, which has been published by the Agency for Clinical Innovation. It is available here.   Prince of Wales Hospital has funded the development of two training videos to teach people with spinal cord injuries, their carers, therapists, and clinicians how to perform IMT safely and effectively in the community. ParaQuad NSW and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia are two other organisations improving the lives of those with a spinal cord injury by helping to distribute this information.   Our aim is to help people take up IMT to reduce the risk of them getting serious lung problems like pneumonia and respiratory failure.   To access the videos, click here:  
The video of an Inspiratory Muscle Protocol should be used only with medical supervision by a qualified clinician. NeuRA thanks Christina Leonard, Elena Kats Chernin and Riley Lee for permitting us to use the wonderful composition ‘Windsong’ for this purpose.
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Brain and Knee Muscle Weakness Study

Why Does Quadriceps Weakness Persist after Total Knee Replacement? An Exploration of Neurophysiological Mechanisms Total knee replacement is a commonly performed surgery for treating end-staged knee osteoarthritis. Although most people recover well after surgery, weakness of the quadriceps muscles (the front thigh muscles) persists long after the surgery (at least for 12 months), despite intensive physiotherapy and exercise. Quadriceps muscle weakness is known to be associated with more severe pain and greatly affect daily activities. This study aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying weakness of the quadriceps muscles in people with knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement. We hope to better understand the relationship between the changes of the brain and a loss of quadriceps muscle strength after total knee replacement. The study might be a good fit for you if you: Scheduled to undergo a total knee replacement; The surgery is scheduled within the next 4 weeks; Do not have a previous knee joint replacement in the same knee; Do not have high tibial osteotomy; Do not have neurological disorders, epilepsy, psychiatric conditions, other chronic pain conditions; Do not have metal implants in the skull; Do not have a loss of sensation in the limbs. If you decide to take part you would: Be contacted by the researcher to determine your eligibility for the study Be scheduled for testing if you are eligible and willing to take part in the study Sign the Consent Form when you attend the first testing session Attend 3 testing sessions (approximately 2 hours per session): 1) before total knee replacement, 2) 3 months and 3) 6 months after total knee replacement. The testing will include several non-invasive measures of brain representations of the quadriceps muscles, central pain mechanisms, and motor function and questionnaires. Will I be paid to take part in the research study? You will be reimbursed ($50.00 per session) for travel and parking expenses associated with the research study visits. If you would like more information or are interested in being part of the study, please contact: Name: Dr Wei-Ju Chang Email: w.chang@neura.edu.au Phone: 02 9399 1260 This research is being funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation.