Depending on where a spinal injury occurs, it affects various areas of the body. A spinal injury may be complete, causing full paralysis of the muscles below that level, or partial causing various symptoms or partial paralysis. With today’s technologies in medicine and rehabilitation, more and more spinal cord injury patients are experiencing gains like never before. The management of a spinal cord injury is a progressive affair from the hospital, through inpatient care and finally outpatient care.
Since the nerves are one of the slowest regenerating cells in the body, improvements can be made months, even years after the initial injury. Furthermore, areas that are paralyzed have a tendency to lose range of motion, atrophy and can affect posture. Maintaining posture and upper body strength is critical for spinal cord injury patients to assist with breathing and digestion. In addition, the ability to shift and move one’s body throughout the day is important to prevent pressure sores.
How therapy helps
Rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injuries can be a complex process, depending on the severity of the injury. Physical therapy plays an essential role in rehabilitating a person with a spinal cord injury. The goal of PT is to promote as much independent living as possible, maintain range of motion, improve strength in the upper body and postural muscles, fit and coordinate adaptive equipment, as well as work with training family or assistants in proper safe transfers. Our physical therapists work closely with you and your family to perform thorough assessments of your capabilities and formulate a treatment plan that will maximize your function. For more information, Contact us at our Wayne, PA center.