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What adaptations may be needed when a person with paraplegia goes diving?

People with paraplegia who engage in adaptive scuba diving have little or no ability to kick in order to maintain their position in the water. This is why it is important that they master their buoyancy. Adaptive divers need to understand the various techniques and tools that can help them safely and effectively control buoyancy despite the inability to use foot fins. Note that a mobility-impaired diver who is a complete paraplegic will have no sensation or movement below the level of the injury, where an incomplete paraplegic may have varying degrees of movement, sensation and the ability to ambulate or walk.

There are many variations of arm or leg impairments, so it’s important to assess the mobility of the individual early on to determine the level of assistance, if any, needed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.