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Coping With Life After A Spinal Cord Injury

Coping With Life After A Spinal Cord Injury

It is a known fact that a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) can have catastrophic effects. For the person involved, it can have devastating impacts – physically, emotionally and psychologically. It becomes a life-changing event that can be a challenge to deal with every single day.
Before we analyze the coping mechanisms after a SCI, it is crucial to understand the physical and psychological status of the injured person.

What Are The Impacts Of A Spinal Cord Injury?

The spine is one of the most outstanding and crucial parts of the body, without which the body is nothing but a bundle of flesh and bones. Any minor or major impact on the spine can result in traumatic injury that is of two types: physical and psychological.

Physical injuries to the spinal cord can result in:

  • Spinal cord reflexes
  • Spinal shock
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Low heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Uneven body temperature
  • Altered bowel and bladder control
  • Frequent headaches
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Brain injury
  • Chronic or acute body pain
Nurse helping spinal cord injured patient to walk

Spinal cord injuries extend beyond the physical impacts on the human body. Survivors are often left with altered psychological conditions that are a result of the SCI. An individual adjusting to SCI may go through:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Social withdrawal
  • Frustration
  • Self-abuse
  • Loss of memory
  • Altered cognitive responses

Adapting To The Physical Limitations After A Spinal Cord Injury

Opt For Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Centres

Irrespective of whether the SPI is a Complete Injury, or in other terms a serious one, or an Incomplete Injury, physical rehabilitation becomes a crucial part of life. The intention of rehabilitation is to prepare the injured person to cope with physical limitations. The benefits of spinal cord rehabilitation are enormous and long-lasting:

  • Rehabilitation teaches how to take care of and control of bladder and bowel movements.
  • They teach you to use and adjust to living with devices like wheelchairs, and other orthotic devices.
  • Exercises help to keep muscles strong and manage weight issues.

Give Your Injuries Time To Heal

A spinal injury will not heal overnight. There is no miracle to speed up the healing process. In a bid to get back on track with the pre-injury routine, it is important to remember to take things one step at a time.

Exercise With A Routine

Exercise is one factor that cannot be stressed enough. As much as it can be difficult and challenging, regular exercising is a great way to deal with the physical injuries.

  • Exercising pushes you to regain physical independence in doing your basic activities.
  • Exercising is imperative to maintain bone density and joint flexibility.
  • It keeps body weight in check.
  • It instills self-confidence and a sense of purpose.

Eat healthy

A healthy diet is crucial for a body that has undergone a big trauma. A certified nutritionist can formulate a diet that will take care of the body’s nutritional needs. It is equally important to keep a lookout for psychological issues that can sometimes lead to bingeing or starvation.

How To Deal With Psychological Trauma After A Spinal Cord Injury

Dealing with psychological drama is easier said than done. The massive assault of a SCI can leave a person overwhelmed with a rollercoaster of emotions than can take a lifetime to settle down.
However, it must be noted that psychological well-being is imperative for physical well-being too. There are well-trained counsellors and psychiatrists who can help the injured person navigate the rough journey.

Acceptance is the first stage of moving on

Denial, sandness, anger, bargaining and acceptance are the five stages of grief. The first four stages are common for most people with Complete SCI. But acceptance is the first step to overall rehabilitation. Only when the person accepts his or her physical condition, can they move on and kickstart the process of getting life back on track.

Physical treatments for spinal cord injury at Hamsa Rehab Chennai

Patience And Positivity

Patience and positivity are two virtues that go hand-in-hand. Recovery from SCI is a long road, with progress taking its own time. It is crucial to maintain a positive outlook to have an uncomplicated recovery process.

Keeping Yourself Occupied

When recovery has progressed to a stage where it allows mobility and self-dependency, you can get back to work, provided you can make the necessary accommodation at the workplace. There are multiple ways to keep oneself occupied.

  • Opting to work from home is a good choice
  • Students can resume their education from home or from their institutions if special accommodations are available there.
  • Taking up a new hobby will ensure that the mind stays active and positive.
  • Joining a local support group where people with similar disabilities share their thoughts and experiences can prove to be extremely beneficial.

Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Centre In Chennai

HAMSA Spine and Brain Rehabilitation in Chennai is a one-of-a-kind rehabilitation center that is dedicated to providing holistic care, support and training for patients recovering from SCI, Brain injury and stroke. Run by a devoted and committed team of experts, HAMSA is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for both in-patients and out-patients.

To know more about our outstanding services, call us or visit our website.

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