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Disabled Athlete and Their Problems

Disabled Athlete and Their Problems

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Published by Surgicalgown
Introduction

Who is the disabled athlete?

The disabled athlete is the person who suffers physical, sensory, or cognitive impairment that interferes with him/her participating in sport (Fig. 1).

Historical Perspective

Early sports participation by the disabled was on an individual basis. The origin of organised competitive sport for the disabled was directly related to the rehabilitation of Second World War veterans with spinal cord injury. It was the renewed interest in sport as therapy in post-war hospitals in the UK and USA that led to the present day state of sport for the disabled.



1

The development of the first international competition for the disabled was in 1949. The games were held in Austria and this was the first World Winter Games for the deaf. Subsequently international competitions involving other disabled athlete, amputees and spinal cord injured have been taking place throughout the world. Organisations such as the International Sport Organisation for the Disabled (ISOD) was formed in 1964 and its objective was to coordinate sport competitions for all disabled athletes.

Now the Paralympics are a major feature of all Olympic Games.

Disabled groups considered:

Sensory: the deaf athlete
the blind athlete

Physical: the spinal cord injured
the amputee athletes

the cerebral palsied athletes

Disabled athletes with the above physical impairments are classified as either wheelchair dependent or independent.

Cognitive: mentally handicapped
Les Autres: disabled athletes who do not fit into any of the disability groups above, such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, dwarfism.
Athletes with Sensory Impairment

The Blind Athlete

Blind athletes have a partial or complete loss of sight. Eligibility for athletic competition is granted only to those individuals who have a visual acuity of 6/60 or less.
Blind athletes can compete in a wide variety of sports including baseball, bowling, cycling, marathon, racing, track and field and wrestling. The events include modification of some rules to facilitate participation by blind competitors.
The only specific sports medicine problem for the blind is related to falls. Falls on the outstretched upper limbs are not uncommon, leading to the same types of fractures and soft tissue injuries as in the able-bodies athletes. Sprains of the knee and ankle ligaments are also not uncommon.


The Deaf Athlete

The deaf athlete’s hearing impairment is often the result of sensorineural deficits caused through cochlear damage. Equilibrium deficits with a loss of balance and co-ordination may compound the athlete’s disability if there has been damage to the semicircular canals or vestibular apparatus.
2

The deaf athlete is not restricted and able to participate in any sport available to the able bodied.
Major dangers arise from a lack of audible warnings and potential slowness in communication. Apart from serious trauma consequent upon these problems there is little evidence to suggest that the injuries sustained by the deaf differ significantly fro those of the able-bodied.
The deaf athletes may compensation by maximizing their visual abilities through training powers of observation and peripheral vision.
Athletes with Physical Disability

Spinal Cord Injuries

When the spinal cord is damaged, there is a loss of motor and sensory function below the level of the spinal cord lesion. The extent of the motor and sensory loss depends upon this level as well as upon the degree of damage of the spinal cord. Quadriplegia at the level of the cervical region, spastic paralysis at the thoracic region and flaccid paralysis at the level of the lumbar region.
The majority of athletes with spinal cord injury are wheelchair dependent, thus giving them the label “wheelchair athletes”.
Athletes with spinal c
Introduction

Who is the disabled athlete?

The disabled athlete is the person who suffers physical, sensory, or cognitive impairment that interferes with him/her participating in sport (Fig. 1).

Historical Perspective

Early sports participation by the disabled was on an individual basis. The origin of organised competitive sport for the disabled was directly related to the rehabilitation of Second World War veterans with spinal cord injury. It was the renewed interest in sport as therapy in post-war hospitals in the UK and USA that led to the present day state of sport for the disabled.



1

The development of the first international competition for the disabled was in 1949. The games were held in Austria and this was the first World Winter Games for the deaf. Subsequently international competitions involving other disabled athlete, amputees and spinal cord injured have been taking place throughout the world. Organisations such as the International Sport Organisation for the Disabled (ISOD) was formed in 1964 and its objective was to coordinate sport competitions for all disabled athletes.

Now the Paralympics are a major feature of all Olympic Games.

Disabled groups considered:

Sensory: the deaf athlete
the blind athlete

Physical: the spinal cord injured
the amputee athletes

the cerebral palsied athletes

Disabled athletes with the above physical impairments are classified as either wheelchair dependent or independent.

Cognitive: mentally handicapped
Les Autres: disabled athletes who do not fit into any of the disability groups above, such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, dwarfism.
Athletes with Sensory Impairment

The Blind Athlete

Blind athletes have a partial or complete loss of sight. Eligibility for athletic competition is granted only to those individuals who have a visual acuity of 6/60 or less.
Blind athletes can compete in a wide variety of sports including baseball, bowling, cycling, marathon, racing, track and field and wrestling. The events include modification of some rules to facilitate participation by blind competitors.
The only specific sports medicine problem for the blind is related to falls. Falls on the outstretched upper limbs are not uncommon, leading to the same types of fractures and soft tissue injuries as in the able-bodies athletes. Sprains of the knee and ankle ligaments are also not uncommon.


The Deaf Athlete

The deaf athlete’s hearing impairment is often the result of sensorineural deficits caused through cochlear damage. Equilibrium deficits with a loss of balance and co-ordination may compound the athlete’s disability if there has been damage to the semicircular canals or vestibular apparatus.
2

The deaf athlete is not restricted and able to participate in any sport available to the able bodied.
Major dangers arise from a lack of audible warnings and potential slowness in communication. Apart from serious trauma consequent upon these problems there is little evidence to suggest that the injuries sustained by the deaf differ significantly fro those of the able-bodied.
The deaf athletes may compensation by maximizing their visual abilities through training powers of observation and peripheral vision.
Athletes with Physical Disability

Spinal Cord Injuries

When the spinal cord is damaged, there is a loss of motor and sensory function below the level of the spinal cord lesion. The extent of the motor and sensory loss depends upon this level as well as upon the degree of damage of the spinal cord. Quadriplegia at the level of the cervical region, spastic paralysis at the thoracic region and flaccid paralysis at the level of the lumbar region.
The majority of athletes with spinal cord injury are wheelchair dependent, thus giving them the label “wheelchair athletes”.
Athletes with spinal c

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Published by: Surgicalgown on Jun 06, 2009
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Introduction
Who is the disabled athlete?The disabled athlete is the person who suffers physical, sensory, or cognitive impairmentthat interferes with him/her participating in sport (Fig. 1).
Historical Perspective
Early sports participation by the disabled was on an individual basis. The origin of organisedcompetitive sport for the disabled was directly related to the rehabilitation of Second WorldWar veterans with spinal cord injury. It was the renewed interest in sport as therapy in post-war hospitals in the UK and USA that led to the present day state of sport for the disabled.1The development of the first international competition for the disabled was in 1949. Thegames were held in Austria and this was the first World Winter Games for the deaf.Subsequently international competitions involving other disabled athlete, amputees andspinal cord injured have been taking place throughout the world. Organisations such as theInternational Sport Organisation for the Disabled (ISOD) was formed in 1964 and itsobjective was to coordinate sport
 
competitions for all disabled athletes.Now the Paralympics are a major feature of all Olympic Games.Disabled groups considered:
Sensory: the deaf athletethe blind athlete
Physical: the spinal cord injuredthe amputee athletesthe cerebral palsied athletesDisabled athletes with the above physical impairments are classified as either wheelchairdependent or independent.
Cognitive: mentally handicapped
Les Autres: disabled athletes who do not fit into any of the disability groupsabove, such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, dwarfism.
Athletes with Sensory ImpairmentThe Blind Athlete
Blind athletes have a partial or complete loss of sight. Eligibility for athleticcompetition is granted only to those individuals who have a visual acuity of 6/60 orless.
 
Blind athletes can compete in a wide variety of sports including baseball, bowling,cycling, marathon, racing, track and field and wrestling. The events includemodification of some rules to facilitate participation by blind competitors.
The only specific sports medicine problem for the blind is related to falls. Falls on theoutstretched upper limbs are not uncommon, leading to the same types of fracturesand soft tissue injuries as in the able-bodies athletes. Sprains of the knee and ankleligaments are also not uncommon.
 
The Deaf Athlete
The deaf athlete’s hearing impairment is often the result of sensorineural deficitscaused through cochlear damage. Equilibrium deficits with a loss of balance and co-ordination may compound the athlete’s disability if there has been damage to thesemicircular canals or vestibular apparatus.2
The deaf athlete is not restricted and able to participate in any sport available to theable bodied.
Major dangers arise from a lack of audible warnings and potential slowness incommunication. Apart from serious trauma consequent upon these problems thereis
little evidence to suggest
that the injuries sustained by the deaf differsignificantly fro those of the able-bodied.
The deaf athletes may compensation by
maximizing their visual abilities
throughtraining powers of observation and peripheral vision.
 
Athletes with Physical DisabilitySpinal Cord Injuries
When the spinal cord is damaged, there is a loss of motor and sensory functionbelow the level of the spinal cord lesion. The extent of the motor and sensory lossdepends upon this level as well as upon the degree of damage of the spinal cord.
Quadriplegia
at the level of the cervical region,
spastic paralysis
at the thoracicregion and
flaccid paralysis
at the level of the lumbar region.
The majority of athletes with spinal cord injury are wheelchair dependent, thusgiving them the label
“wheelchair athletes”.
Athletes with spinal cord injury compete in many sports, but track and field andswimming are the most popular (Fig. 2). Other competitive sports for such athletesinclude archery, basketball, fencing and marathon racing.
The low levels of physical activity in the wheelchair athlete predispose them to:
 
 
 An increased risk of cardiovascular disease by unfavourable modification ofrisk factors. Diabetes and other medical conditions associated with
obesity.
 The development of osteoporosis and renal calculi. 
The Cerebral Palsied Athlete
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders of impaired brain and motor function with anonset before or at birth, or during the first years of life (Fig. 3). The condition hasmultiple aeteologies and the most obvious manifestation is impaired function of thevoluntary musculature.
 
Track and field and swimming are popular sports for these athletes. Participants may be ambulatory orcomplete in a wheelchair depending on extent of their motor dysfunction. It should be noted that half thecerebral palsied athletes compete in wheelchairs. 
The Amputee Athlete
Amputee athletes have a partial or complete loss of one or more limbs.
The amputee athlete usually participates in sport with or without a prosthesis or in awheelchair.
Track and field and swimming have been popular sports for amputee athletes.
Sport may help to
prevent atrophy
of the stump muscles,
improve circulation
of the stump and
strengthen the remaining muscles
in the affected limbs.
Children’s Diseases (after O-Bar-Or)
Children, whether well or ill, can safety participate in physical fitness programmes. In fact,training may improve physical fitness for such diseases as bronchial asthma (but bewareexercise-induced bronchospasm), cystic fibrosis (follow for signs of arterial desaturation),diabetes mellitus (improves control) and chronic renal failure (better appetite), musculardystrophy, mental retardation, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis. There are physical andmental benefits (improved self-esteem) however the exercise prescription
must be specific
to the problem.
Athletes with Cognitive Disability
Mental retardation specifies as an IQ less than 70 resulting from pathophysiologic processes affecting thecerebrum during the developmental period.

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