Injuries to the spinal cord are devastating and life-changing. Living with a spinal cord injury means redefining everyday life. For those who choose not to wallow in the misery of the injury, there are options available. Through physical or occupational therapy some function may be returned, but long-term issues will remain. Ask yourself, how would I function if I was not able to walk or move in a normal way? Many times the unknown can be as scary as the injury. There are approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries every year in the United States and finding proper medical aids to help you regain some of your mobility and quality of life is paramount.
A spinal cord injury can lead to several substantial challenges and spinal cord injury complications require specific aids to maintain a quality of life and HPFY can help.
Spinal cord injuries are different for each injured patient. Depending on where the injury was sustained on the spinal cord determines how the spinal cord injury is classified. Injuries higher in the spinal cord can lead to quadriplegia, whereas injuries sustained lower in the spinal cord can result in paraplegia. The difference between the two is quadriplegia affects all 4 limbs as opposed to paraplegia which only affects the legs. As you can imagine, these two different spinal cord injuries may have some similarities as far as disabilities go, but there are some significant differences also. Not only are there two main different types of spinal cord injuries, but they can be classified as complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury results in no function below the level of injury (area where spinal cord is injured) whereas an incomplete spinal cord injury will result in some function below the level of injury.
A spinal cord injury can be caused by some common events that include falls, violent trauma to the spinal cord, or even sports injuries that lead to damaging the spinal cord. Once this spinal cord has been injured, the first step in the healing process is immobilization and the relief of any type of pressure on the spinal cord. Complications related to any type of spinal cord injury can include:
Each of these complications comes with a unique set of challenges in order to overcome or even avoid them. Physical/occupational therapy can help regain some functionality and may require the use of medical aids in order to achieve these goals. They can include:
Living with a spinal cord injury is not easy to say the least, but a positive mental outlook and hard work during therapy can lead to some functional return. It’s important to work with your doctors and therapists to find the proper aids you need to overcome your specific spinal cord injury. The complications from spinal cord injuries do present a unique set of challenges, but rest assured knowing that your therapists have the knowledge to help you regain some independence and an improved quality of life.
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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