A spinal cord injury means damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function. The severity depends on the location and extent of damage. Understanding your injury and realistic recovery expectations are key to overcoming challenges in rehabilitation.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash, our Macon injury center can help you get the medical care and legal help you need. The Hurt 911 team can provide chiropractic care and physical therapy as well as coordinate your spinal cord injury treatment with different specialists.
If you have been injured in an accident, there is ZERO out-of-pocket cost to be seen by a HURT 911 doctor. Your lawyer and our medical professionals get paid once your case is resolved.
The Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is the main pathway for communication between your brain and the rest of your body. When it’s injured, signals can’t properly transmit below the site of damage. The higher up the spinal cord the injury, the more function is lost.
A lower spinal cord injury may allow some limb movement and bowel/bladder control, while a higher injury can cause quadriplegia or loss of function in all four limbs. Recovery depends on the severity of your injury. A “complete” SCI means no function below the damage, while an “incomplete” SCI retains some function.
Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations
When it comes to overcoming spinal cord injury rehab challenges, realistic expectations are key. Set small, achievable goals and celebrate the wins, no matter how small they seem.
Focus on what you can accomplish each day rather than what you can’t do yet. Start with the basics, like sitting up, transferring from bed to chair, or feeding. Master these, then move on to the next milestone. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking too far ahead.
Dealing With Physical Challenges During Rehab
Dealing with the physical challenges during spinal cord injury rehab can be difficult. Your body has gone through a traumatic experience and now has to re-learn basic movements and functions. Be patient with yourself as you start the rehabilitation process.
Regaining Strength And Mobility
- Focus on simple exercises to rebuild strength in your limbs and core. Even basic stretching and range-of-motion activities can help.
- Work with physical and occupational therapists on mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches. Re-learning how to move around independently will boost your confidence and motivation.
- Take prescribed pain medications as directed to keep discomfort at a manageable level. Don’t skip or double doses.
- Ask your doctor about alternative pain relief like massage, acupuncture, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units.
- Apply heat or ice to sore areas, whichever provides the most relief.
Coping With Changes In Bowel/Bladder Function
- Follow the recommended diet and medication plan from your doctor to promote regularity. Staying hydrated and eating high-fiber foods can help.
- Learn techniques like timed voiding or double voiding to improve bladder control. Be patient through accidents and mishaps.
- Talk to your occupational therapist about incontinence products and how to use them properly if needed. There are many discreet options available today.
Coping With Emotional and Mental Health Struggles
Coping with the emotional and mental health challenges that often accompany a spinal cord injury can be difficult. It’s normal to experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, frustration, or even depression. Don’t bottle these feelings up – find healthy ways to work through them.
Talk to others who understand what you’re going through. Connecting with a support group, whether in-person or online, can help combat feelings of isolation. Speaking with a counselor or therapist who specializes in spinal cord injuries may also help you develop coping strategies.
Practice self-care. Make sure to schedule time for hobbies, social interaction, and physical activities that you enjoy. Read a book, call a friend, and get some fresh air.
Creating a Support System and Utilizing Resources
Creating a support system and utilizing resources are key to overcoming the challenges of spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Surround yourself with people who care about you and your well-being. Let your close family and friends know how they can support you.
Join a local support group to connect with others going through similar experiences. Online communities can also be helpful. Don’t try to go through this difficult process alone. Work closely with your medical team, including doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and counselors.
Ask them any questions you have and follow their guidance. Seek counseling or talk therapy if you are struggling emotionally. A mental health professional can help you work through feelings of grief, anxiety, and depression and give you coping strategies.
Call Our Macon Injury Center for Medical and Legal Help
The journey to recovery from a spinal cord injury is long and difficult, but staying determined and reaching out for support can help you overcome any challenge.
Don’t try to go through this alone. Reach out to Hurt 911. Our team of physical therapists and chiropractors can help you manage pain and regain strength. We can also coordinate your treatment with different specialists. We have offices in Macon, Atlanta, and other convenient locations in Georgia.
If you have been injured in an accident, there is ZERO out-of-pocket cost to be seen by a HURT 911 doctor. Call us today at 855-475-2588 to get started on your recovery journey.