How PhysioFunction Can Help with Spinal Cord Injury.
Spinal CordIinjury (SCI) occurs when the spinal cord gets damaged following an accident, falls, sporting injuries, or following diseases, such as Polio, Spinal Bifida or Transverse Myelitis.
The damage to the spinal cord might be due to severing (total or partial), crushing/compression, or over-stretching/tearing. It is not the same as having a “broken back/neck” as this refers to a fracture of one or more of the vertebrae (bones that make up the spine), which does not necessarily lead to spinal cord injury.
PhysioFunction's Neurological Physiotherapy treatment is aimed at addressing the problems that can occur following SCI so that an individual can maximise their potential for recovery and therefore maximise their independence.
Whether the personal injury to that individual has resulted in quadriplegia/tetraplegia or paraplegia, treatment should be focused on what their needs are. Once the physiotherapist has made their assessment, and the individual has expressed what they would like to achieve, an appropriate course of physiotherapy can be agreed which will aid an overall rehabilitation and maximise recovery.
Depending on the level of Spinal Cord Injury and its nature whether it be complete or incomplete, the problems associated can include:
- Muscle weakness/paralysis
- Reduced ability to breathe
- Loss of general mobility and balance
- Loss of functional movement
- Poor posture
Treatment should be focused upon that individual and tailored specifically to their condition. A treatment programme is formulated following a thorough physical assessment which might include:
- Stretching activities to maintain muscle and tendon length and reduce or keep muscle spasms/spasticity to a minimum.
- Flexibility and strengthening exercises for the whole body.
- Breathing exercises to maximise lung function and prevent chest infection.
- Balance and posture exercises which can help to reduce pain associated with poor posture and balance impairment and ensure correct transfer techniques (in/out of wheelchair, bed, toilet/bath, car etc.)
- Functional activities to improve fundamental movement patterns such as rolling over and sitting up, and standing where appropriate.
- Walking re-education, if there is sufficient muscle activity and power in the legs.
Your physiotherapist might also be able to advise an individual on use of appropriate equipment such as wheel-chairs and pressure releasing cushions, exercise equipment and electrical muscle stimulators (EMS)/Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) e.g. Odstock PACE, Bioness and Exoskeletons including REX.
With appropriate treatment and by challenging an individual during recovery, together with sound advice and encouragement, Neurological Physiotherapy can indeed maximise your independence.
From our clients
The Wheelchair Skills Course held by the Back Up Trust at PhysioFunction today was really helpful. Even though I have been a wheelchair user for some years now, I still learnt some new techniques that I can put into practise to make my life easier when 'out and about'.
To find out more about our services or how we can help you, please contact PhysioFunction or call 0800 043 0327