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Guidelines To Help You Recover From A Spinal Cord Injury

Guidelines To Help You Recover From A Spinal Cord Injury

Paralyzed man walks again with the help of physiotherapist at Hamsa Rehab Center, Chennai

A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), however minor or major, can be excruciatingly painful with complications ranging from small, treatable ones to catastrophic changes to the body and life thereafter.

Most patients and their families find it difficult to deal with the challenges of a spinal cord injury that has their lives thrown completely out of gear. However, it must be understood that not all injuries are the same. With huge advances in the medical field, a spinal cord rehabilitation centre in Chennai presents a ray of hope for those facing critical challenges because of SCI.

To help you navigate the guidelines for recovery, we shall first understand the types of spinal injuries.

Vector image of physiotherapy doctor caring his spinal cord injured patient

Spinal Cord Injury: The Two Types

Damage to the spinal cord can result in injury that can be broadly classified into two types:

  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

When compression or damage is inflicted to the spinal cord below the injury site, it compromises the capacity of the brain to send signals to the injured site. This is called an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury.

  • Incomplete injuries vary from person to person.
  • Sensory and motor functions may be partially or completely compromised.
  • Triplegia or loss of movement in one or both limbs can result from incomplete injuries.

The incomplete spinal cord injury is of three types:

Type Of Injury

  • Anterior cord syndrome
  • Central cord system
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Site Of Injury

  • Front of the spinal cord
  • Center of the spinal cord
  • Damage to one side of the spinal cord

Effects Of Injury

  • Damage to the motor and sensory nerves
  • Loss of motor skills, paralysis of upper limbs, loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Restricts movement on only one side of the body

Complete Spinal Cord Injury
A Complete Spinal Cord Injury occurs when the spinal cord is damaged to the extent where it loses all communication with the brain. The resulting effect is paralysis below the point of injury.
The best example of a Complete Spinal cord injury is damage to the lumbar region. This injury will leave the person paralyzed below the waist, while all other motor functions of the upper body remain unaffected.

Other Spinal Cord Injuries

TetraplegiaDamage to the cervical spinal cordCauses paralysis, loss of bladder and bowel control and difficulties in respiration.
ParaplegiaDamage to the thoracic spinal cordLoss of sensation to the lower half of the body
TriplegiaIncomplete SCILoss of sensation in one or both limbs.

Guidance For Recovering From an SCI

As a rule of thumb, it must be kept in mind that every Spinal injury is different. The individuals suffering from SCI are different from others based on their injury type, resilience, determination and will to survive through these drastic changes.

Equally important is the injured person’s willingness to cooperate and accept the methods of recovery. In today’s world, spinal cord rehabilitation centres are well equipped with highly trained staff and paraphernalia to make it relatively easy for the patient to recover.

Here are some guiding pointers that will help you chart your course to recovery after a spinal cord injury:

Adapting to lifestyle changes

A SCI can completely change your life for a long time or forever. Hence, it would only be wise to start by making simple but profound changes like giving up smoking and drinking, eating healthy food, etc.

Taking up counseling

Counseling is a great way for patients to open up their minds and get clarity on their physical and mental status. Counseling will help one to cope with emotional pressure, denial, and anger- conditions that can impede recovery.

Going for surgical measures

With severe SCI, surgery is probably the only answer to immediately rectify and restore injury and health-related problems. Post-surgical care and physiotherapy play a crucial role for patients with relatively mild SCI.

Support of friends and family


Without the physical and emotional support of friends and family members, it will be almost impossible to recover from an a trauma like spinal cord injury. Spending as much time with the family will help to avoid a sense of loss and loneliness.

Patient trying to walk with the help of nurse in the rehab centre

Exercises and physical fitness

After the initial and painful stages of incurring a spinal injury, it is imperative to become physically active by engaging in any form of exercise that your physician or therapist deems fit for your body. Offering a plethora of benefits for recovery, the type of exercises range from:

  • Yoga
  • Seated Aerobics
  • Water aerobics
  • Seated weight-lifting
  • Walking
  • Assisted swimming

Recreational therapy

Recreational therapy encourages patients to resume their socializing activities and participate in sports or recreational activities that their level of mobility permits. Recreational therapy is vital in rekindling hope and a sense of well-being.

Choosing Spinal cord rehabilitation centers

The road for recovery is a bumpy one, filled with challenges where emotions may run high and test one’s resilience and patience. Here’s where one must opt to choose a well-established spinal cord rehabilitation centre that has an army of doctors, nurses, therapists, counsellors and nutritionists who will guide and make it easier to recover.

Spinal Cord Rehabilitation in Chennai

HAMSA Spine and Brain Rehab is located in the sprawling metro of Chennai equipped with world-class facilities and guided by a well-trained team of experts, HAMSA provides top-notch care and support for you or your loved ones who are suffering from SCI. HAMSA is a one-of-a-kind facility that offers a wide range of rehabilitative therapies and services to suit the individual.
No one understands Spinal Cord rehabilitation better than us at HAMSA . To know more details, call us, mail us or visit our website.

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