Spinal cord injuries are most commonly caused by trauma, but compression or loss of blood flow can also be contributing factors. Regardless of the source of the injury, the recovery process can be difficult and painful. In many cases, physical therapy and pain medication are recommended throughout the rehabilitation period. However, there are alternative methods for pain management that may allow you to reduce or eliminate the need for pharmaceuticals.
Because trauma, typically from a car accident or sports injury, is the most likely cause of a spinal cord injury, the symptoms can usually be quickly recognized. You might experience muscle weakness, loss of muscle function, or loss of sensation in certain parts of the body. As always, seek medical attention immediately if you are concerned about a spinal cord injury.
Early treatment is one of the most important elements of spinal cord injury recovery. The more quickly you can immobilize the affected area of the spine, the less likely you are to cause further damage. After a traumatic injury, a neck brace or back board may be required to limit range of motion in the spine.
Cold and Compression for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery
Inflammation is one of the main contributing factors to pain from a spinal cord injury. After a trauma, the body's natural inflammatory response is designed to protect tissues from further injury. Although this is beneficial to an extent, if the inflammatory response is not controlled, it can lead to further pain, swelling, and discomfort. Pain medications can help limit inflammation, but another effective method is the use of cold and compression therapy.
- Cryotherapy - Cold therapy is proven to reduce pain and inflammation by temporarily deadening nerve endings and slowing down cellular metabolism. In addition to reducing the need for pain medication, it can also help speed up the healing process.
- Active compression - Pain and swelling can be further reduced by pumping excess fluid away from the spine. Active compression also helps bring oxygen and other nutrients to the damaged tissues for faster recovery.
- Physical therapy - During the rehabilitation process, a physical therapist can show you exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the injury to help stabilize the spine. Proper posture and techniques for doing everyday activities can also help reduce pain during spinal cord injury recovery.
Game Ready offers two options for spinal cord injury recovery: the Back Wrap for injuries to the lumbar spine, and the C-T Spine Wrap for cervical and thoracic treatment. These two wraps can also be combined with the use of a Dual Hose for full spinal coverage. Contact us today to learn more about our full line of cold and compression wraps.