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Thread: T10 - Lungs Affected?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    South Africa

    T10 - Lungs Affected?

    Since my injury in 1996, i've always suffered with bronchitis which is now a chronic condition. In April-June this year, i was also hospitalized with pneumonia. How does being a T10 incomplete para affect my lungs because, my understanding is that the T10 level is around the navel area? I'm also a

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Manitoba, Canada
    Me thinks you need to do more cardio exercises my friend.

  3. #3
    I was diagnosed as asthmatic (asthmatic bronchitis to be precise) at age 1, and became T4 complete SCI at 23 (19 years ago) so I'm not inexperienced in these matters.

    Based on the bit of information in your post I would hazard to say that there is no connection between your SCI and your bouts of bronchitis. Spinal cord (not vertebral level) innervation to the lungs is T2 - T4. And even if your injury was fell at these levels you still wouldn't necessarily be predisposed to getting bronchitis. My asthma has become *less* of a problem as I've gotten older.

    And with all due respect, jway's recommendation that you need to do more cardio is irrelevant. (There's even something called exercise-induced asthma, but this is getting too far afield for this topic.)

    So what's the deal then? Well first off you need to find the appropriate physician to help figure out what's going on. Start off with your internist and if necessary you may want to see an allergist: my first hunch is that you're reacting to something environmental (i.e., an allergen).

    I would be amazed (but hey, I'm always willing to learn) if someone were to make a physical/anatomical connection between your SCI and your bronchitis. If you were bedridden as a result of your SCI and susceptible to pneumonia that would be something altogether different, but I doubt that's the case with you.

    Good luck.

    [This message was edited by Stephen NYC on Nov 29, 2002 at 09:31 AM.]

  4. #4

    Spinal cord control for pulmonary function

    Just a bit of a correction:

    Innervaton of breathing involves the following:

    Diaphragm (major muscle of breathing): innervated at C3-5 ("C3,4 & 5 keep the diaphragm alive"). This is your main inspiratory muscle.

    Accessory muscles of the neck and upper trunk are innervated from C2-C6 and mostly help to take a deeper breath.

    Intercostal muscles (between the ribs) are innervated between T2-T6. These muscles are mostly involved in deep inspiration, but also have a role in forced exhalation.

    Abdominal muscles T6-T12 are the major muscles used for coughing. Without full abdominals, there is a tendency to retain secretions and to have more atalectasis (small areas of collapsed lung).

    Pneumonia often occurs due to inability to cough out secretions. Bronchitis is usually associated with upper airway disease (from smoking, asthma, or exposure to smog and other chemicals). Do you smoke?

    In addition, there is some indication that SCI itself can sometime cause upper airway disease, especially asthma.

    Exercise, stopping smoking, and use of respiratory muscle strengtening exercises can help to reduce some of this risk. Getting annual flu shots and every 10 year Pneumovax is also important.


  5. #5
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    I tend to agree with Stephen. I had bronchial asthma as a toddler and it disappeared as I hit 5 or 6. Bronchitis showed up when I started smoking--duh! Since I quit and my SCI I've only had it once right after a cruise to rather damp maritime Canada. I got the Pnumovax vaccine soon after my SCI and that is supposed to have helped a lot. That you live in S. Africa...what's the air quality like where you live? Lots of wood burning for heat in your area? If so, do see an allergist. They can help a lot with environmental factors. In the meantime, when no one is around singing (badly in my case) loudly to your favorite tunes helps keep the old lungs in shape.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

  6. #6

    KLD: I see your correction and raise you a correction. :)

    I wasn't referring to the *muscles of inspiration* -- diaphragm, intercostals, etc. Rather, I was referring to the sympathetic innervation of the lungs which originates between T2 -T4.

    Around and up until the date of my T4-level SCI, I was having very bad problems with my asthma. For the next 12 years following my injury I was completely asymptomatic. For a long time I was convinced that through some unknown phsyiological reaction my T4 injury (lung innervation level) had resulted in my having traded an asthmatic condition for paralysis (bad trade!!).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

    Hi Shawn

    I also had very bad pnemonia this year
    My advice get inaculation against it-See post on caregiving...

    Also I got some kind of inabulizer which I'm using when I feel some mucus in my lungs.

    Currently I'm trying to quit smoking-Smoke 2-3 cigaretees per day

  8. #8

    Less than a full cough

    One of the problems with a T10 level would be impaired coughing, since you need completely intact abdominal muscles for coughing. That is one thing that could be seeting you back with your lungs. PT's might be able to teach you some maneuvers (like a fast forward lean with your arm in your belly) to help you add force to your cough and really clear the gunk from your lungs. All para's have mildly diminished respiratory function because (believe it or not) the muscles of the pelvic floor are important for maximal respiratory activity.


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