Online Course
Autonomic Nervous System and Spinal Cord Injury
Understand the extensive impact of spinal cord injury on the autonomic nervous system

1-1.5 hours





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Melanie Harding (Skeen)
Course instructor

Melanie has considerable experience in spinal cord rehabilitation, both as a clinician and a tutor

Course instructor

Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems

Course image - Autonomic Nervous System and Spinal Cord Injury
Summarising the latest research & evidence
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The autonomic nervous system is a component of the peripheral nervous system that regulates involuntary physiological processes, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, digestion, and sexual arousal. It contains three anatomically distinct divisions: the sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric nervous systems. Spinal cord injury affects the functioning of the autonomic nervous system and can result in cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitourinary dysfunction. This course provides a comprehensive review of the impact spinal cord injury can have on the autonomic nervous system.


This course aims to review the autonomic nervous system and explore the impact of spinal cord injury on the autonomic nervous system.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at rehabilitation professionals, students and assistants including but not limited to Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Rehabilitation Doctors, Rehabilitation Nurses, Prosthetists, Orthotists, Psychologists, Audiologists, Dietetics, Social Workers. Community Health Workers, Nurses or Medical Doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


  • Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.
  • Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 1-1.5 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.
  • Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.
  • Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1.2 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • describe the key features of the three divisions of the autonomic nervous system and how at least three body systems can be impacted by autonomic dysfunction following spinal cord injury
  • interpret information in a given case study to determine the influence of spinal cord injury on the autonomic nervous system using the International Standards to document Autonomic Function following SCI (ISAFSCI)
  • identify key signs of autonomic dysreflexia, short-term management options and potential complications

Instructor financial and non-financial disclosures

Melanie Harding (Skeen): No financial relationships disclosed by instructor.
Non-financial disclosure: Melanie Harding is the Chairman of SASCA (Southern African Spinal Cord Association)


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
This material is excellent and delivered in a manner that every professional can digest. The tutor was very edible, and the demonstrations were easy to digest. I recommend this course to every professional, not only physiotherapists, to register for this course.
Yiga Robert