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What kind of physical therapy is involved in coming back from a spinal

cord injury?

Question:
What kind of physical therapy is involved in coming back from a spinal

cord injury (types of exercises, etc)? How long does this take?


Answer:
In general, recovery depends on what was injured and how badly. The higher up the spine that the injury is, the worse the effects. I don't know the medical side, but on the therapy side, the person gets physical therapy to try to strengthen what's left, maintain range of motion in what's permanently paralyzed, and teach mobility in crutches or with a walker or in a wheelchair. Occupational Therapy deals with "Activities of Daily Living", which is dressing, grooming, feeding, bathing, homemaking skills, and whatever parts of your job you might be able to return to. There is LOTS of counseling, from grief counseling initially (to grieve over the loss of body image and a "normal" life) to counseling to help the person cope with the immediate and distant future. For people in the appropriate age ranges, there will be (or should be, in a decent rehab center) sexual options counseling. There should be financial counseling, but I don't think many places offer that. A spinal cord injury, if it leaves any permanent weakness or paralysis, almost certainly means long-term, ongoing medical expenses and a decrease in earning ability.



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