What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injury is a neurological condition that significantly affects an individual. It affects psycho, socio and economic aspects, and is a life-changing condition. Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord where signals to and from the brain are affected. As a result, the individual has issues with motor function and sensation, the degree of which depends on the level of injury.

What are the types of spinal cord injury? 

  1. Complete spinal cord injury, 
  2. Incomplete spinal cord injury

What are the main causes of spinal cord injury?

Trauma is one of the main reasons for spinal cord injury, mostly due to: 

  • road traffic accidents, 
  • domestic injuries, 
  • sports injuries. 

Other causes are congenital conditions, such as: 

  • spina bifida
  • polio 

Or other pathological conditions, such as:

  • transverse myelitis, 
  • multiple sclerosis, 
  • cancer, 
  • tuberculosis.

What are the effects of spinal cord injury?

The effects of spinal cord injury depend on the level and type of injury. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, the patient experiences different signs and symptoms depending on the level of injury.

The major complications of spinal cord injury are:

  • mobility issues, 
  • neuropathic pain, 
  • muscle wasting and weakness, 
  • respiratory difficulties, 
  • bowel and bladder issues, 
  • sexual dysfunction, 
  • spasticity, 
  • poor posture.

How do physiotherapists help individuals with spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injury affects people differently. At K7 physiotherapy our physiotherapist performs a holistic assessment and mutually agrees on a treatment plan to achieve the patient’s goals. Physiotherapist input mainly concentrates on: 

  • stretching exercises, 
  • a range of motion and strengthening exercises, 
  • promoting appropriate posture, 
  • achieving normal movement, 
  • exercises for spasticity, 
  • improving balance, 
  • improving endurance, 
  • progressing transfers and mobility including rolling/moving on a bed,
  • seating and wheelchair advice, 
  • mobility and transfer equipment advice, 
  • hydrotherapy, 
  • improving quality of life, 
  • breathing exercises, 
  • bladder and bowel exercises,
  • gait re-education.
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Royal Leamington Spa

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