There are several ways the damage caused by a spinal cord injury can be treated and most patients require one or more of these methods to increase the chances of recovery. At FIT Physiotherapy of Newmarket we help patients with damaged spinal cords to regain as many of their functions as possible so they can lead a pain-free, independent lifestyle.
Occupational therapy can go a long way following a spinal cord injury, especially if it’s started early. The FIT Physiotherapy team will discuss your goals after assessing your condition and will help you work towards them. We will focus on support as well as prevention and allow you to take an active role in your rehabilitation. We can do this by focusing on your respiratory status, keeping the musculature active, and maintaining your range of motion.
The treatments will depend on your Neurological Level of Impairment and may include special breathing and coughing techniques as well as secretion clearance, abdominal-support belts, and thoracic-wall stretching. If you’re immobilized the therapists will also help to prevent any type of complications such as osteoporosis and muscle atrophy and may use functional electrical stimulation.
One of the main goals for patients is to improve their locomotor function. The physiotherapy programs may help restore locomotion or walking to your optimal level. This could include functional electrical stimulation, over-ground training, and treadmill training. Inactivity could lead to further damage and that’s why it’s important to keep as active as possible. All of these methods will help lead to greater functional independence for your daily living routine.
If your range of motion is severely restricted it could be aided by massage therapy is can also help reduce muscle spasms and cramping. The FIT Physiotherapy team can also help your self-care skills by helping improve your mobility. This can be done by teaching you how to transfer from various different positions, such as in and out of a wheelchair and into a car or bed etc. with the aid of devices such as grab bars and sliding transfer boards.
Many people with spinal cord injuries have paralyzed or greatly-weakened lower limbs and therefore they engage in activities such as arm-crank ergometry, upper-body swimming, and wheelchair ergometry. Progressive exercise programs and resistance training are often helpful as all of the muscle groups that are used can be strengthened. This often leads to less pain, stress, and depression and a greater sense of satisfaction along with a better quality of life.
Our therapists can provide several types of exercises such as upper-body wheeling, passive range of motion, and electrically-stimulated resistance exercises which can help improve your arterial function. When the exercise programs are specifically designed for your personal needs you’ll find your quality of life will greatly improve. You’ll be able to return to some of your previous interests and could develop some new ones along the way.
Treadmill training helps some patients since bodyweight-supported training will help to prevent lower-extremity bone loss. This type of training along with robotic training can help reproduce leg movements as well as improve your amplitude, step length and speed.
Whatever your needs are following a spinal cord injury, FIT Physiotherapy will be able to create a personalized program which will help you regain your independence and as much mobility as possible.