A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord, which carry signals to and from the brain. A person with damage to the spinal cord may suffer from loss of sensation and motor function depending on the level and severity of injury. Most injuries to the spinal cord are incomplete and do not sever the spinal cord. Some injuries will allow almost complete recovery. Others will result in complete paralysis.
Damage to the spinal cord can be caused by fractures, compression, or disease:
- Fracture of the spine can displace bone fragments, disc material, or tear into spinal cord tissue causing a spinal cord injury.
- Compression of the spinal cord can damage nerve cells that carry signals to and from the brain.
- Diseases of the spinal cord are rare but can cause spinal cord injury.
Physiotherapy for a complete spinal cord injury
Physiotherapy for people with a complete spinal cord injury will concentrate on maintaining tissue capability increasing muscle strength and maximizing potential and promoting independence. Treatment will focus on:
- Increasing muscle strength above the level of injury to reduce muscle weakness
- Maintaining muscle, tissue length and range of movement below the level of injury
- Muscle stretching below the level of injury to help lengthen tight muscles and reduce stiffness
- Regular standing to weight bear and improve function of internal organs
- Exercises to improve balance and confidence
- Teaching wheel chair skills which includes pushing and turning the chair, operating the brakes, and removing the footplates and armrests
- Breathing control and assisted coughing if appropriate to maintain a clear chest
- Teaching transfers (getting in and out of a wheelchair, bed, car, shower/bath and onto and off a toilet) to improve safety and promote independence
- Advice on orthotic devices
- Advice on positioning to help posture and prevent pressures sores
- Improving safety
- Increasing energy levels
- Reducing pain and muscle spasms
- Hydrotherapy treatment
Physiotherapy for an incomplete spinal cord injury
People with an incomplete spinal cord injury present in different ways depending on the severity of the injury. Each person therefore needs individual treatment and continuous assessment. Our doctors at CAPAAR the Best Neurological Rehabilitation Center in Bangalore, Hulimavu will treats a physiotherapy on rehabilitation and returning the individual to their previous physical level as much as possible. Treatment will improve functional abilities and focus on:
- Exercise to strengthen weak muscles
- Reducing contractures by stretching muscles that have become stiff
- Promoting normal movement
- Increasing control of movement of the arms, legs and trunk
- Promoting activities of daily living
- Exercises to improve balance
- Reduce any anxiety that you may have and regain your confidence
- Increase ability to transfer including roll/move in bed/sit/stand
- Exercise to increase stamina and reduce fatigue
- Mobilization exercises to improve circulation and range of movement
- Advice on effective positioning to increase comfort
- Advice on orthotic devices and walking aids.
- Hydrotherapy treatment.
- Promoting independence
- Improving the quality of life