|Forums Members Calendar Chat||Like Us! View New Forum Content Forum Search|
SCI Health Issues
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Units & Treatment Centres
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
Five decades ago, before spinal cord injury rehabilitation units and treatment centres, a spinal cord injury usually had a fatal prognosis. Very little was known about how to treat, stabalise, and care for someone who was paralysed. This lack of post injury knowlege, usually had fatal consequencies arising from pressure sore issues, renal failure and respiritory failure.
Today, there is currently no way to reverse the scaring and damage to the spinal cord. Luckily, the injuries seen today are usually less severe partial (incomplete) spinal cord injuries, due to immediate imobilisation of fractures, and new techniques to reduce secondary cellular damage. With advances in biomedical technology and treatment, in recent years the recovery of people with a spinal cord injury has improved significantly, with quality post injury care reducing the amount of time a patient must spend in hospital. Many companies are now working on new treatments, including innovative treatments, prostheses and medications that may promote nerve cell regeneration within the spinal cord, or improve the function of the nerves that have survived the trauma of a spinal cord injury.
Current spinal cord injury treatment and post injury care focuses on preventing further injury, and enabling people with a spinal cord injury to return to an active and productive life within the limits of their disability.
Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy
During recovery in hospital, a rehabilitation team and physiotherapy team, will work with you to improve the function of your remaining muscle strength, and to give you the maximum possible mobility and independence. Your team may include a physical therapist, occupational therapist, rehabilitation nurse, rehabilitation psychologist, social worker, dietitian recreation therapist and a doctor who specialises in spinal cord injuries.
The initial stages of rehabilitation will involve therapists usually emphasising regaining leg and arm strength, redeveloping fine-motor skills and learning new techniques to accomplish day-to-day tasks. A rehabilitation program typically includes exercise, as well as training on the medical devices you'll need to assist you, such as a wheelchair or equipment that can make it easier to get dressed, wash, cook or dial a telephone.
Rehabilitation and physiotherapy often comences in the hospital, and continues in a dedicated rehabilitation facility. As therapy continues, you and your family will be offered counseling and advice on a wide range of topics, from bowel and bladder management and skin care, to adapting your home and car to accommodate your disability. Therapists will encourage you to resume your favorite hobbies, participate in athletic activities and return to the workplace, if possible.
Rehabilitation and physiotherapy offer you the chance of maximising your recovery and functionality, following a spinal cord injury.
If you would like to talk to others who have had a spinal cord injury, or other carers and family members, please visit the Discussion Forum, where you can discuss issues the affect you or someone you know.