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2017-02-07news-articleNews<p>A free online resource to educate the public about exercising after burn injury is now available on the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website.</p>

New Resource Explains Strategies and Benefits of Exercising After Burn Injury

February 7,  2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A free online resource to educate the public about exercising after burn injury is now available on the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) website.

The Exercise After Burn Injury hot topic module is a suite of free resources — videos, a factsheet and a narrated slideshow — that explains how exercise can enhance recovery and quality of life for people who have experienced a burn injury.

“Many people who experience a burn injury aren’t sure how to get back into an exercise routine,” said Cindy Cai, Ph.D., co-project director of the MSKTC and principal researcher with American Institutes for Research. “This suite of resources offers practical tips that can help burn survivors take the first step to getting back to physical activity.”

The main 18-minute video features three burn survivors who share the profound experience of beginning an exercise routine after burn injury. It also includes the perspectives of health care professionals at the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System (BHBIMS) center, who explain the importance of and strategies for exercising after burn injury. In addition to the main video, the module includes short clips that highlight various components of burn injury and exercise, ranging from the role of peer support to amputation to competitive sports. Videos are accompanied by a factsheet and slideshow that offer practical tips for exercising after a burn injury. The factsheet is available in both English and Spanish. These hot topic module resources are grounded in Burn Model Systems (BMS) research and clinical practice.

“Physical activity is especially important to counteract the effects of hospitalization,” said Dr. Jeffery Schneider, Project Director of the BHBIMS. “Exercise helps fight the deterioration of muscles that can result after prolonged immobility.” Exercise can also help prevent infection, improve flexibility and lower the risk of developing scars or contractures. In addition, it can help breathing, make it easier to accomplish everyday activities and contribute to a sense of well-being.

“Some burn survivors may resist exercise after they’re injured because of concern over additional injuries or pain,” said Amy Acton, Executive Director of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. The Exercise After Burn Injury video demonstrates how easing into physical movement can lead to an active lifestyle.

BMS centers are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. BMS centers provide the highest level of comprehensive and multidisciplinary care, including emergency medical, acute medical and post-acute services. In addition to providing direct services, BMS centers play a pivotal role in building a national capacity for high-quality treatment and research that serve people with burn injury, their families and their communities.

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About the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) is a national center that supports the Model Systems programs in meeting the information needs of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and burn injury by summarizing research, identifying health information needs and developing and disseminating information resources. The MSKTC is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a center within the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Model Systems are funded by NIDILRR to conduct innovative and high-quality research, provide patient care and offer services to improve the health and overall quality of life of individuals with SCI, TBI and burn injury. For more information, visit

About Spaulding Rehabilitation
A member of Partners HealthCare, Spaulding Rehabilitation includes Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, its main campus in Charlestown as well as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and two skilled nursing facilities, as well as twenty-five outpatient sites throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Spaulding has been awarded a Model Systems designation in three specialty areas- Brain Injury, Burn Injury Rehabilitation, and Spinal Cord Injury - by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. Spaulding is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School as well as the official rehabilitation hospital of the New England Revolution. Spaulding is the only rehabilitation hospital in New England continually ranked since 1995 by U.S. News and World Report in its Best Hospitals survey, ranking #5 ranking in 2016. For more information, please visit