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How physical therapy can help spinal cord injuries


May 29, 2020

Thousands of Americans are injured every year with a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, this can be caused by a number of different reasons - whether it be from a medical condition or from a severe accident. Perhaps you’ve sustained a spinal injury through sports? No matter how cautious you can be, unfortunately it can still happen to you. When a person damages their spinal cord, there are a multitude of effects it can have. These injuries can result in a loss in function, mobility and feeling. The nerves exit and enter at each level and they communicate with different areas of the body. Being that the spinal cord carries nerve impulses from the brain to the rest of the body, when damaged, you can see how it can greatly change someone’s life.

Spinal cord injuries are categorized into “complete” and “incomplete.”  The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that a “complete” spinal cord injury means your spinal cord is unable to send signals to anything below it usually resulting in paralysis. You may have total paralysis, known as tetraplegia, or partial paralysis called paraplegia, which usually affects the lower part of the body. For those diagnosed with an “incomplete” injury, there is still some movement and sensation below leaving those with the ability to be able to move and function. Those with “incomplete” injuries are able to use various therapies, medicines, braces and other devices to rehabilitate. While you may not have a full recovery, there are aids and devices to help you live as comfortably as possible.

Upon experiencing a potential spinal cord injury, there are several emergency signs and symptoms to take note of. If you experience any of these symptoms or are worried you have a spinal cord injury, it is best to contact your doctor immediately. The first is extreme back pain and pressure in your neck, head or back. Next, if you notice weakness or numbness in certain parts of you body, which could be a sign. You may also have loss of bladder or bowel control and have issues balancing and walking. Last, you may notice that you struggle with your breathing or have an injury that leaves your neck or back in an odd position.  

If you find that you are a victim of a spinal cord injury, North Platte Physical Therapy is your local premier Casper physical therapy go-to to help you increase the quality of your life post-injury. We can work with peripheral nerve stimulation, bio feed-back and brushing/sensory integration techniques by transfer training, ambulation training, stretching, strengthening, balance and neuro-muscular re-education. Our top goals are to help you eradicate pain, increase function, instruct self-management and educate you on the biomechanics. Learn more about spinal injuries and other neurological services and fill out a contact sheet for more information.