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How Effective is Spinal Cord Injury Physiotherapy?

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a disease characterised by damage to the cells and nerves that receive and send brain signals to the rest of the body. SCI can result from direct injury to the spinal cord or damage to its surrounding tissues and bones.

Most SCIs are caused by a sudden, distressing blow to the vertebrae, and the fractured, broken bones then damage the spinal cord and its nerves. There can be a few cases when an injury can entirely severely split the spinal cord.

An injury can cause loss of important spinal cord functions, especially if the nerves fail to communicate with the brain. These functions of the spinal cord include:

  1. Controlling body movements through signals from the brain to the other body parts. Functions also include directing autonomic or involuntary functions such as heartbeat, breathing rate, and bladder and bowel functions.
  2. Managing your reflexes. The spinal cord also controls some things you do automatically in response to a stimulus, without conscious thoughts, and these are called reflexes.
  3. Reporting senses to your brain. Signals from different body parts are delivered to the brain to record and process sensations like pain and pressure.

When your spinal cord gets damaged, it can affect the following:

              * bladder and bowel functions (intestinal)

              * heart rate

              * breathing

              * muscle movement

              * reflexes

              * metabolism (the process of converting food to energy)

Spinal cord injuries are trauma-based, which is why injuries happen in different ways and result in different types of SCI. Injuries to the spinal cord are commonly caused by motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, falls, surgical complications, sports injuries, and others.

Spinal cord injury is classified into two types: complete and incomplete.

Complete SCI – This type causes permanent damage to the affected area of the spinal cord. It can affect both sides of the body or cause paralysis of the four limbs, termed quadriplegia, or the body’s lower half termed paraplegia.

Incomplete SCI – is the type where the spinal cord is partially damaged. This means communication between the body and the brain along specific pathways. The injured area of the spine determines the ability to move, the number of feelings, and how severe the injury is.

Currently, there is no cure yet for spinal cord injury. Complete SCI is usually permanent; incomplete SCI may allow movement and daily function improvement over time. Spinal cord injury physiotherapy can help rehabilitate the patient; the process works because it promotes neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a surprising occurrence in which the brain and spinal cord can recover from injury and obtain functions again after losing it.

Physiotherapy treatment for a patient with spinal cord injury should start as soon as the injury happens. People with SCI can benefit from the rehabilitation services of a physiotherapy clinic with specialists neurological physiotherapists.  

It is important to note that spinal cord injury can have a life-changing effect on you and your loved ones. The good news is that Mission Walk has experienced and specialist neurological physiotherapists who know that if you suffer from a damaged spinal cord, you will have to face considerable challenges in your life. They will be happy and willing to help through our spinal cord injury treatment.

The physiotherapy treatment will provide you with support and guidance through your treatment. The physiotherapists of Mission Walk will work closely with you, your family, your caregiver, and your partner focusing the treatment on your individual needs. However, it would be best if you remembered that physiotherapy treatment would therefore be based on the severity and level of the spinal cord injury you received.

As a physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre, Mission Walk is committed to helping you maximise your potential by setting short, and long-term individualised treatment goals.  

If you or a loved one has a spinal cord injury and are looking for a physiotherapy clinic in Hyderabad, the Mission Walk is just a phone call away. Please call us on 91 91773 00194, or email us at rehab@missionwalk.in, and we will be pleased to serve you.

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