Any damage to your spinal cord can result in permanent changes to your strength, function and sensation below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries can alter every aspect of your life, including your professional and personal life.
Many SCIs occur due to direct injury to the spine or due to tissue or vertebrae damage.
Most SCI treatment will include a rehabilitation program. Rehabilitation programs focus on physical therapy and skill building to help SCI victims increase their independence. Your rehabilitation may include working with a social worker, occupational therapist, rehabilitation psychologist, vocational counselor, nutritionist and other specialists. Generally, rehabilitation begins by helping the injured person regain limb strength and communication skills.
In some cases, the only way to restore function or mobility is through the use of adaptive devices like leg braces, wheelchairs, or walkers. For communication, patients may require adaptive devices that allow them to write or type.
Much of the SCI treatment revolves around preventing further complications. For example, those with neck injuries have a higher chance of developing breathing problems. Unfortunately, respiratory issues are among the leading causes of fatalities among people with SCIs. Patients with injuries between the C1 and C4 segments may require special training to learn to breathe and swallow again.
In addition to breathing troubles, changes in circulation, including abnormal heart rhythm and blood clots can occur shortly following a spinal cord injury. You may require anticoagulant drugs or compression socks to increase your blood flow.
Regarding SCI treatment, your specific treatment depends on the location and severity of your injury.