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May 19, 1951

PHYSICAL TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION OF THE PARAPLEGIC PATIENT

JAMA. 1951;146(3):232-234. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670030010004
Abstract

The use of physical agents and rehabilitation techniques is essential in the clinical management of patients with spinal cord lesions. In addition to their therapeutic effect, these agents and techniques are of diagnostic and prognostic value in the long range program of paraplegic care. Briefly, the major objectives of physical medicine and rehabilitation are to evaluate the extent of the disability and its progress under treatment; prevent, minimize or correct deformity; prevent atrophy, deconditioning and loss of mobility; improve motor function; assist in the control of decubitus ulcers and spasticity; teach ambulation, self care and activities essential in daily living and, finally, provide for maximal physical, psychosocial, educational and vocational adjustment of the individual patient.

Extensive experience in the care of the paraplegic patient, gained during and since the recent World War, has indicated the importance of early, individualized and comprehensive physical treatment. Optimal results require that such treatment be

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