What Can A Spinal Rehab Clinic Do To Help You Regain Independence After A Spinal Cord Injury?

Health & Medical Blog

Spinal cord injuries often have severe consequences — the spine is the central route for the nerves that connect your brain to the rest of your body, and any damage to them can cause paralysis. If the spinal nerves are completely severed, the paralysis may be permanent. Severe spinal cord injuries can radically change the way that you live, and they can curtail your independence.

After an injury, it's important to receive as much support as you can in order to better adjust to living with an injured spine. One way to do this is to attend a spinal rehab clinic, which offer a multifaceted approach that can help you recover from a spinal cord injury and regain independence. To learn more about what a spinal rehab clinic can offer you after you've injured your spine, read on.

Physical Therapy

When your spinal cord is injured and you become unable to move some parts of your body, the muscles in those areas will begin to rapidly weaken from disuse. Physical therapy can help stop this from happening, as a physical therapist can both teach you exercises to perform that strengthen muscles and manually manipulate your limbs in order to exercise muscles that you're unable to move. Maintaining muscle strength is an important part of recovery — while paralysis from spinal cord injury is often permanent, you don't want to be held back by weak muscles if you're able to regain movement as your spine recovers from being injured.

Some spinal rehab clinics also offer novel therapies like weight-supported locomotor training. During this procedure, you'll walk on the ground or on a treadmill while your body weight is supported by a harness. This can improve your ability to walk unassisted, as the spine contains neurons that are able to send signals to your legs without any input from your brain. Even though the connection between your legs and your brain has been severed, training these neurons in the region of your spine below the section that was injured can improve your ability to walk.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help you adjust to living with a spinal cord injury, increasing your independence. They can teach you techniques that allow you to dress yourself, eat, and bathe safely when you have limited mobility. In addition, occupational therapists can also recommend aids that make it easier to perform daily activities, like cutlery that's designed to be easier to use for people with limited grasping strength. Working with an occupational therapist at a spinal rehab clinic helps you make the transition to living independently with a spinal cord injury.

Mental Health Counseling

A spinal cord injury due to sudden trauma like a car accident is a major life-changing event, and it's often difficult for people to cope with the changes that they'll need to make in their lives. Spinal rehab clinics provide mental health counseling to patients that can help them process their injury and deal with the feelings that arise from it. Group therapy is commonly used to allow patients to share and discuss their experiences with others who have had spinal cord injuries, which can help prevent feelings of isolation.

Social Work

Finally, spinal rehab clinics often include social workers as part of the staff to help patients navigate financial issues that arise after a spinal cord injury. Social workers can help patients apply for disability if they're unable to work after being injured, and they can also help uninsured patients apply for Medicaid — this can be a great help for people who are having trouble finding the money to pay for spinal rehab.

Overall, the main purpose of spinal rehab is to help you live independently after a spinal cord injury. While a full recovery isn't possible after most spinal cord injuries, rehab can help you adjust to life after your injury. If you've injured your spine, contact spinal rehab clinics in your area and ask about their services. You may be able to receive the financial, social, and medical support that you need to help you live successfully with a spinal cord injury.


23 April 2021

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