what to expect with spinal cord injury recovery

If you are going through spinal cord injury rehabilitation, it's helpful to know what to expect. While your body is healing, you might have limited range of motion or not be able to do some of the daily activities you are used to performing. Knowing what is on the horizon can make this time easier to handle and give you the opportunity to make your recovery process faster.

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a number of factors, but trauma is the most common. Dealing with the aftermath of this trauma, whether it was a car accident or a fall, adds to the overall stress of injury recovery. Ease some of this burden by educating yourself about the recovery process and reduce fear of the unknown.

Typical Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Although every case is different, many patients have common experiences with spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Talk to your doctor about the recovery process for your particular injury, which might include:

  • Immobilization - If you have had surgery or a traumatic injury to the spinal cord, you may need to keep all or part of your spinal column immobilized for a period of time to prevent further injury. This may be accomplished with a full back board or neck brace depending on the injury.

  • Pain management - Some spinal cord injuries cause reoccuring or intermittent pain. Your healthcare team will advise you on the best way to manage this pain, which might include pharmaceuticals, activity modification, exercises, or cold therapy.

  • Physical therapy - Your doctor will recommend exercises that will help you regain range of motion, learn proper posture, and increase strength and flexibility. Although you may need to limit movement for a period of time after the initial injury, regular activity is an important part of the road to recovery.

  • Comprehensive treatment - In most cases of spinal cord injury, you will work with a team of healthcare professionals, not just one doctor. This team might include surgeons, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, and psychologists. These people are there to help you navigate the recovery process, so it is important to communicate openly about the challenges you face, including pain.

Spinal cord injury rehabilitation can be a tough process, especially if you have to deal with pain along the way. If you want to reduce pain while limiting the amount of medication required, talk to your healthcare team about the Game Ready cold and compression therapy system. The use of therapeutic cold in combination with targeted compression has been shown to naturally reduce pain and inflammation. Find a provider near you to get started today.