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The Role of Physical Treatment in Spinal Recovery

Spinal treatment of the spine has to be done carefully. The physical therapist has to be carefully selected. His or her credentials need to be checked, and consulting the doctor helps.

A physical therapist does play an integral role in a person’s recovery after a life-altering spinal cord injury (SCI). This healthcare professional helps throughout the spinal cord injury rehabilitation and recovery process. The healthy functioning of the spine is important.

Rehabilitation therapy happens to be a commonly multidisciplinary approach that does involve multiple healthcare professionals, ranging from nurses as well as case managers to psychologists and also physical and occupational therapists. Spinal treatment needs to be carefully chosen.

The team operates under the direction of a physiatrist or perhaps an SCI physician, and each job does have a different but essential role in the recovery process. This therapy can occur in a hospital, a rehabilitation center, or at an SCI-focused specialized facility like an activity-based therapy (ABT) center.

The quality of care received after a spinal cord injury does matter. People with spinal cord injuries do experience a loss of function around the body. This loss of function can, in fact, be permanent. However, few people make a full recovery.

Spinal cord injuries can also lead to secondary conditions like pressure sores and blood clots. People with secondary conditions like these will require long-term care.

The Role of a Physical Therapist in SCI Physical Therapy

The purpose of spinal cord injury rehabilitation is to:

  • Maximize one’s sensory and motor function recovery,
  • Prevent secondary complications as well as health issues. and
  • Help a person reintegrate with society.

Physical activity matters in spinal cord injury recovery

The importance of being physically active after a spinal cord injury does increase as medical research becomes more advanced and more aware of the specific needs of spinal cord injury patients. Moderate evidence shows that physical activity does improve walking function, muscular strength, and upper extremity function for people with spinal cord injuries.

What to Look for in an SCI Physical Therapist?

It is important to select the right physical therapist, which is vital to one’s spinal cord injury recovery. He or she needs to be experienced and qualified in the type of injury being faced with. It is better to seek advice from the physician about a suitable physical therapist.

The Role of Physical Treatment in Spinal Recovery
The Role of Physical Treatment in Spinal Recovery

A few considerations while choosing a physical therapist:

  • A careful review of the therapist’s credentials and educational background is necessary in order to ensure that they are qualified to treat patients well. These professionals are no doubt well trained to provide therapy for a variety of health conditions, but few have specialized training or advanced skills that are well suited to individual needs.
  • Getting to know them and their personalities While preferring the best, brightest, or most skilled physical therapist can be beneficial, if personalities clash, it will affect progress negatively.
  • Be prepared to ask questions about their approach to spinal cord injury functional rehabilitation.
  • Share what you liked or did not appreciate about any previous physical therapy experiences.
  • Meet with the physical therapist in person or even via video chat, if possible. This way, you can see, hear, interact with them, and read their body language during the conversation.
  • Read online reviews about them, if available.

Spinal cord injuries are rather traumatic events that can alter one’s daily life activities and impact family life as well. SCIs are stressful and do require costly care and treatment, which can have many impacts on one’s health, social relationships, lifestyle, and finances. Recovery from spinal cord injuries usually begins in the hospital, immediately after the injury occurs. The extent of recovery will depend on how severe the injury is.

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