How to Recover from a Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord is extremely prone to injury. Since it cannot repair itself once it is damaged, people should avoid activities that could easily injure the spine, though spinal cord injury often results from trauma.

In fact, as much as 50% of spinal cord injuries in the United States are caused by car accidents.

As a result, victims suffer a long-term injury for which they should receive compensation. In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for filing an injury claim is within two years from the date of the accident.

Injury victims should contact an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer to help them with their claim. Processing the claim early on can help victims defer any related medical expenses.

In the meantime, here are some different ways that victims can begin recovering from a spinal cord injury:

Rehabilitation

Immediately after discharge from the hospital, individuals will have to undergo intense rehabilitation.

At this early stage of recovery, the injured person may be assigned a team of specialists to help including a physical therapist, a rehabilitation nurse, a dietitian, and an orthopedic doctor to oversee the program.

Individuals can expect their therapists to maintain and strengthen the muscle function, redevelop fine motor skills, and learn techniques to help them accomplish their daily tasks.

The idea is to help the injured person strengthen their muscles enough that they can begin rebuilding their lives back to normal as much as possible.

For others, the goal is to learn and adapt to their new lifestyle. Part of this is encouraging the person to join in social and fitness activities and even return to work or school.

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Medications

People suffering from spinal cord injury often deal with tremendous pain. One of the ways to make recovery easier is through medications that will make the pain bearable.

Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, patients may also receive medications for bowel and bladder control and sexual function.

Yoga

After six months of recovery, individuals can now engage in restorative exercises such as yoga. Yoga has specific poses that can help individuals restore their flexibility after a spinal cord injury.

Patients, however, must first consult with their doctors on which poses are safe to do so as not to aggravate the injury. If you receive a clearance, it is best to practice yoga gradually.

Psychological Recovery

A spinal cord injury can cause an individual’s life to change completely. Individuals may find it hard to cope up with their current situation. Dealing with chronic pain may be something they cannot accept.

While not often recommended by doctors, psychological rehabilitation is necessary as poor psychological health can contribute to prolonged recovery.

Those who suffer from a spinal cord injury may find going back to their normal lives difficult. They should find no shame in asking for psychological help, especially if they are struggling with depression and anxiety.

It may take some time for patients to accept their situation, but mastering relaxation and meditation techniques can be helpful tools to regain peace of mind.

Instead of succumbing to addictive medications, they can benefit from asking for support from family and the community.

Final Thoughts

Recovering from a spinal cord injury is no easy feat, especially if it is severe. It can alter a person’s life and even affect their relationships with the people around them.

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It is imperative for the person to feel that they are still part of the community and that they can still accomplish tasks. Their injuries do not define their lives and they can rise up and conquer the challenges they face. 

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