After Spinal Cord Injury: Health and Wellness
Staying healthy includes several factors:
ξ Quit smoking: By quitting, you will
lower your chance for respiratory
infections and lower your risk for
ξ Keep blood pressure under
control: Talk to your doctor to see if
your blood pressure is healthy. If it is
not, talk about ways you can lower
your blood pressure. Medicine may
be needed. Keeping your blood
pressure under control will lower
your risk for heart disease.
ξ Keep good cholesterol levels:
HFFY 6196 and 5817
ξ Manage weight: see HFFY 7582
ξ Staying active: This task is harder
than it was before your spinal cord
injury. You may be able to find some
local ways to stay active (kayaking,
hand cycling, etc). Weight lifting
ξ will help to keep up and strengthen
your upper body, which is especially
important since you will mainly use
your upper body to move around.
ξ Reduce or learn to control job
and/or family stress: Find time to
learn ways you can relax. Talk with
others about your feelings.
ξ Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you
should have healthy eating habits
and manage your blood sugars. Talk
to your doctor to see if your blood
sugars are well controlled.
All of these factors affect your risk for heart
disease; and they are factors you can change.
Two factors you cannot change are:
ξ Age: risk increases as you get older
ξ Family history: Previous blood
relatives who have or had heart
disease give you a higher chance of
having heart disease.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#7581.