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Thread: sci and accelerated heart rate

  1. #1

    sci and accelerated heart rate

    I thought i read somewhere that it's common for spinal cord injured persons to have accelerated heart rates. Something about the body not being able to pump the blood properly.
    Where would i find this thread?
    Before injury, i had a heart rate in the 60's resting. Now it's 70's and 80's. I'm in good physical condition and exercise. Any information would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    my rate was 90 , before sci and it's still 90. my feet always swelled up , the right more so. last couple months my legs and feet are always warm , before they where always cold. my feet and toes look normal now. i'm in chair from noon to 3 in the morning. guess my circulation is improving. my legs spasm straight out whenever i move and shake like heck. guess that helps too.
    oh well

  3. #3
    Dennis-

    Depending on your injury level and degree of completeness, the resulting impact on your heart rate and blood pressure will vary.

    The natural response of the body to low blood pressure is to increase blood flow. Pre-sci your body could do this by constricting blood vessels. Post-sci this ability is often impaired, so the next option used by the body is increase blood flow is to pump the blood faster via increased heart rate.

    Additionally, the muscles of your lower body pre-sci assisted blood flow to the heart. Post-sci they cannot help, blood will pool in the lower extremity, causing a drop in blood pressure. This pooling also reduced the volume of blood returning to the heart. Less blood entering the heart means less output, so the heart attempts to beat faster to speed the reduced blood output through the body.

    If you injury is high enough, the major pathway to cardioacceleration, sympathetic input, is interrupted.

    However, even post-sci your heart pumps more blood, & thus oxygen, than your body can use. Proper exercise will increase the amount of oxygen your body can extract and use from your blood. Thus, resting heart rate is not as accurate indicator of fitness post-sci as it was pre-sci.

    A better measure is how quickly your heart rate returns to baseline after exercise. The quicker it slows down the better your fitness level. Additioinally, if your injury is T6 or below(approxamately), how your heat rate responds to exercise is a good indicator as well. As your fitness level increases you can sustain a higher intensity effort at a lower heart rate.

    Generally, quads and high paras have impaired sympathetic pathways. Their physiologic response to exercise differs significantly. But remember everyone is different & you could have sympathetic sparing without motor or sensory sparing.

    hope this helps.

  4. #4
    sporty, that helps a lot. Thanks!!

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