Thanks for joining us for the third edition of WOTS News. This month we are coincidentally celebrating our third birthday!! It has been a fantastic three years of growth and development and we are very proud to have achieved so much in this short time. Here's a couple of things we've achieved in the three years to date:  

  • We are now a team of 5 OT's

  • We've completed over 300 OT assessments

  • Over 10,000 Hours of OT/case management intervention

  • Now servicing Workcover, CTP and not for profit organisations

  • We have expanded to the central coast (meet our newest OT - Alli Holdsworth, below)

A huge THANK YOU to our loyal customers, our inspirational clients and our hardworking team for making this day possible. 

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A photo of the WOTS Team from our most recent team meeting, before the birthday celebrations! (L- R) Alli Holdsworth, Debbie McFarlane, Liz Wise, Tanya Savva, Lisa Battersby, Alexandra Richardson. 

EDUCATION: September is Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month, so we're taking this opportunity to share with you some facts and statistics on this topic. Over the past three years we've provided Occupational Therapy and Case Management services to many clients with a spinal injury as the result of work related injuries and car accidents. 

SCI is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling. Frequent causes of damage are trauma such as car accidents, falls, physical sports and diving, or disease such as spina bifida. 


Quadriplegia (also referred to as tetraplagia) is loss of function below the neck and is the result of an injury in the cervical spine (C1-8). 

Paraplegia is loss of function below the chest and impairment depends on the level of injury, for example an injury of the thoracic spine at T1 has greater functional impairment than and injury at T11. 

The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of functioning to occur. In fact, in most people with SCI, the spinal cord is intact, but the damage due to compression or bruising to it, results in loss of functioning. SCI is very different from back injuries such as ruptured disks, spinal stenosis or pinched nerves.

A person can "break their back", yet not sustain a spinal cord injury if only the bones around the spinal cord (the vertebrae) are damaged, but the spinal cord is not affected. In these situations, the individual may not experience paralysis if bone damage is treated correctly.

Life after spinal cord injury

The impact of this type of injury has significant changes on a person's life, as you can imagine. Varying symptoms are experienced, including and not limited to: inability to mobilise, loss of control of bowel and bladder function, loss of sexual function, lack of sensation in the lower limbs leading to pressure sores and other injuries, loss of life roles and an inability to care for themselves and others. Intensive Occupational Therapy intervention is required following this type of injury and significant home modifications and equipment are usually required to allow a person to return home following extensive rehabilitation. If you would like an example of how we've worked with a client with a spinal injury in the past - click here. 

Spinal Cord Injury Statistics for Australia
In Australia it is estimated that 9,000 people have a spinal cord injury. Each year in Australia, there are 350-400 new cases of spinal cord injuries reported. On average 42% of all people who sustain a spinal cord injury are between the ages of 15 and 30. Throughout Australia in 2005-2006, vehicle related injuries represented 46% of all traumatic spinal cord injuries. The majority of spinal cord injuries occur in the 15 – 34 year age group (80% male 20% female). In 2010-2011, 40% of SCI's resulted in quadriplegia, and 60% in paraplegia. The lifetime cost per incidence of paraplegia is estimated to be $5 million and $9.5 million for quadriplegia. 

References: Spinal Cord Injury Australia; Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Spinal Injuries Unit 2012, Report on Disability by the World Health Organisation 2011.


CONNECT:  If you’d like to know more about the services Wise OT Solutions can provide, please don’t hesitate to  email or call me directly on 0414 627 930.


Liz Wise

Principal Consultant & Director

Wise OT Solutions

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'IN THE SPOTLIGHT'... this month we talk to Caroline Brown about her buzzing new psychology practice in Marrickville NSW. Read more about Caroline here


For more information on Spinal Cord Injuries and various services available, visit the wealth of knowledge on their website

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'OT PROFILE'.... Introducing one of our newest team members: Alli Holdsworth. Alli has many years experience as an OT and is based on the Central Coast of NSW. Want to know more about Alli? click here