A spinal cord injury can be very scary, even if it's relatively minor. Damage to the spinal cord can cause numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, and a range of other symptoms that are quite alarming if you don't know why they are happening. Fortunately, many people make a full recovery from minor spinal cord injuries.
What You Need to Know about Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Inflammation control is critical - After an injury, your body's natural response is to become inflamed around the damaged tissues in order to protect them from further injury. Although meant to be a protective mechanism, excess inflammation leads to unwanted swelling, pain, and edema. Control inflammation with the use of cold therapy and active compression. Therapeutic cold helps reduce pain by deadening nerve endings, and swelling is decreased as the blood vessels constrict. Active compression helps move edema away from the injury by enhancing the body's natural pumping effect.
Recovery takes time - Healing after any injury takes time. Your body needs a lot of energy to repair damaged tissues and it's important to get sufficient rest to allow this natural process to occur unimpeded. Be patient during your recovery process and don't expect to be able to do too much too soon. If you follow your physical therapist's recommendations, you will return to normal activity more quickly.
Early rehab equals faster recovery - Your doctor will probably recommend that you do acute physical therapy as soon as possible after your injury, especially if it includes a hospital stay. The exercises you will learn will help your muscle stay strong so your later recovery phases are easier.
You might need supportive devices - For some types of spinal cord injuries, your doctor might recommend a neck brace or back brace to help support the spine. The suggested use of such devices might range from a few days after the injury to several weeks or months depending on the extent of the damage and your doctor's treatment protocol. It's important to stop wearing the brace when your medical team says to as immobility or restricted movement can impede the recovery process if the best course of action is activity.
If your doctor recommends the use of cryotherapy and active compression to aid your spinal injury rehabilitation, talk to them about Game Ready. Our patented system offers two types of back wraps for either the lumbar back region or the upper pectorals, neck and cervical thoracic spine to provide simultaneous cold and compression. Get in touch today to learn more, or find a provider near you.