Spinal Cord Injury: Autonomic Dysreflexia
Autonomic dysreflexia is a syndrome in which there is a sudden onset of excessively high blood pressure. It is more common in people with spinal cord injuries that involve the thoracic nerves of the spine or above (T6 or above).
Be prepared to call your spinal cord injury therapist,
If you feel you have autonomic dysreflexia:
Autonomic dysreflexia occurs when something happens to your body below the level of your injury. This can be a pain or irritant (such as tight clothing or something pinching your skin) or a normal function that your body may not notice (such as having a full bladder and needing to urinate). These situations trigger an automatic reaction that causes your blood pressure to go up. As your blood pressure goes up, your heartbeat slows and may become irregular. Your body cannot restore your blood pressure to normal because of your spinal cord damage. The only way to return things to normal is to change the situation—for example, by removing tight clothing or emptying your bladder.
The following are some frequent causes of autonomic dysreflexia and how you can prevent them.
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