Twenty spinal injured wheelchair bound individuals were tested to peak VO2 on a wheelchair ergometer. Sixteen subjects were paraplegics (5 females, 11 males) and four were quadriplegic (2 females, 2 males). The level of injury ranged from C4-5 to L2-3. The mean age of the subjects was 29.9 years, with a mean weight of 63.66 kg. Prior to the peak VO2 and during the rest immediately after peak VO2, each subject was tested for the ability to discriminate touch over the skin of the thigh, leg, and foot. A chi square statistical technique was used to test for differences between pre- and postexercise sensitivity. The chi square was significant at the .003 level of significance. Because the increase in sensitivity was short, it was theorized that under peak exercise stress the body may recruit pathways that have been dormant, but not injured, explaining the increase in sensitivity.
Request reprints from Lee N. Burkett, Department of HPE, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287.