Spinal cord injuries can range from relatively minor conditions such as whiplash to extreme damage that causes full or partial paralysis. For the acute injuries that can be treated, you want to recover as quickly as possible to regain range of motion, eliminate pain, and return to normal daily activity.
As with any other type of injury, always follow your doctor's instructions closely, even if you don't feel pain or discomfort.
How to Quickly Recover from Spinal Cord Injuries
The timeline for your recovery will depend on the extent of the injury, but there are a few steps you can take to help speed up the healing process:
Immobilization - Typically after an acute spinal cord injury, the neck and/or back are immobilized to help prevent further damage and ensure that there is nothing that can impact the spinal cord with movement. This phase of the recovery process typically does not last long, but it is important to remain immobilized as long as your doctor recommends.
Rest - Your body requires a lot of energy to heal itself. The more rest you can get during your recovery, the more energy will be available to repair damaged tissues.
Cold therapy - One of the side effects of a spinal cord injury is inflammation. This is a natural response that is actually designed to protect your tissues from further damage and help you heal more quickly. However, when inflammation is not controlled, it can actually lengthen the recovery process. Cold therapy helps control inflammation by restricting blood flow and limiting swelling. It also helps reduce pain by temporarily deadening nerve endings around the injured area.
Physical therapy - As you are able to regain the ability to safely move your neck and back after a spinal cord injury, your doctor will recommend physical therapy to help you improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Although it may be tempting to force yourself to the limit to recover faster, sometimes it is best to ease into physical therapy and not push yourself too hard. Your doctor or physical therapist can advise the best course of action.
If you have experienced a spinal cord injury, talk to your doctor about using Game Ready to help you recover faster. Our patented technology enables cold therapy to be more effective with the help of active compression. By maintaining a consistent cold temperature, fully enclosing the injured area with specialized wraps, and mimicking the body's natural pumping action, Game Ready can help you return to normal activity faster than ice alone. Locate a provider near you to get started today.