Spinal cord injuries can alter your life forever. Depending on the location and severity of the SCI, you could have complete paralysis below the injury site.
Following treatment for a spinal cord injury, you may need help from a rehabilitation team. A rehabilitation team can help you improve your ability to function in various areas of your life.
Regain independence with physical therapy
Physical therapists use various techniques to teach you how to function with your new limitations. Additionally, physical therapy can help you strengthen your muscles and become more mobile. During rehabilitation, you may learn how to cope with pain, spasticity and other symptoms associated with the injury.
Focus on your emotional health
Part of coping with an SCI involves taking care of your emotional health. Spinal cord injuries can change how you function in the world. You may lose your job or the hobbies you once loved. Allow yourself to grieve the losses associated with your injury. Seek help from mental health professionals to learn coping strategies.
Use assistive devices
There are a variety of assistive devices for people who have spinal cord injuries. For example, wheelchairs, leg braces and walkers can help you regain some of your mobility. Likewise, if your ability to communicate becomes compromised, you can use adaptive devices. Professionals can also offer functional electrical stimulation. Functional electrical stimulation can restore neuromuscular, autonomic or sensory function.
In addition, you can also undergo vocational therapy to help you return to work or to find a new occupation.