Research Highlight

Paraplegia pangs

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2007.25 Published online 30 October 2007

Providing direction for better rehabilitation of patients of paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body due to spinal cord injury), a cross-country survey has identified pain and spacticity as their most frequent complaints1.

Pressure sores, postural hypotension, respiratory complications and fractures were among the other causes of worry for such patients. The population most at risk for spinal cord injuries was the working age group engaged in unskilled work.

India has around 200,000 individuals with spinal cord injury. Every year, 10,000 new cases are added. The majority of these clients seek repeated medical treatment lifelong owing to various morbidities.

Despite new technology and rehabilitative strategies, the quality of life of this population is not on par with global standards. This is partly owing to the fact most of them are rural-based, living below the poverty line and are unable to afford the cost of rehabilitation.

The study results may be useful for other resource-poor countries in Asia and Africa.


  1. Gupta, N et al. Paraplegia: a postal survey of morbidity trends in India. Spinal Cord 45, 664-670 (2007). | Article | PubMed |