BENGALURU: In cases of spinal cord injury, treating it and restoring its function, so as to enable the person to return to a productive and satisfying life, is the primary objective. Spinal cord injury may include vertebral fractures, broken bones in your back or neck, dislocations, ligament injuries, such as a tear or a combination of all three. Spinal cord injuries if not treated on time, are quite devastating to the individual, and can lead to profound consequences to the injured and the family. It may lead to paralysis and affect the body functions – bladder, bowel, respiratory, cardiovascular and sexual. Besides this, there are social, psychological and financial implications too.
A good rehabilitation program can support the patient to restore the functions and limit disability to a great extent. During the initial acute phase and in cases of post-surgery, occupational therapy is done immediately. The patient is taught coping skills, where he or she under the team of physical therapists, psychologists and other health care professionals, is able to get to start off on the road to recovery. The team supports the patient and works towards preventing any further injury. The respiratory status of the patient is monitored and an intervention is done, if required. Due to immobilisation, abdominal support belt is provided to avoid other complications that may arise in the lower limbs. The complications that may arise include muscle atrophy and osteoporosis among others.
Physical therapists work with patients on three or more weekly exercise sessions, which are followed by improving loco motor functions. Occupational therapists then attempt to maximise functional independence and help them perform activities of daily living, which also includes massage therapy for the patient.
Spinal cord injuries, besides initial medical rehabilitation, should also have access to wheelchair-friendly environment, approved home-care and the right equipment for support.
Assisted devices are very vital as quality of life of the patient is dependent on this. They must be carefully selected and patients need to be taught how to use them, so they are able to be independent as soon as possible.
To address the aspects of rehabilitation and the required medical devices for it, Bengaluru-based Rehamo, is a store that provides mobility and health care solutions. It addresses the different requirements of spinal cord injury patients. The author is a consultant at Rehamo, Rehab, Mobility & Home Health Care Store