Spinal cord injury can be categorized into various degrees, depending on the intensity of the affliction. It can be caused by mishaps such as a sudden fall, vehicle accidents, sports injuries, diseases like polio and spina bifida. However, an injury so sensitive must not be left unattended or delayed. Immediate hospitalization is certainly necessary to recover as soon as possible.
Also, post-hospitalization treatments are important to help the patient regain as much independence possible.
There are two main degrees to which one can injure their spine:
Complete spinal cord injury
This kind of an injury leaves the spinal cord completely severed, resulting in a halt to all functional capabilities. Such an injury may even lead to a state of paralysis.
Incomplete spinal cord injury
This form of injury results in the spinal cord being partially severed. The injured person is, however, able to retain some of their functional abilities.
There are three major types of incomplete spinal cord injury
- Anterior Cord Syndrome – Injury to the front area of the spinal cord.
- Central Cord Syndrome – Injury to the central area of the spinal cord.
- Brown Sequard Syndrome – Injury to one whole side of the spinal cord.
Depending on the gravity of the injury, the affliction can be categorized as follows:
This is also called Hemiplegia. Paraplegia is a condition in which there is an impairment of sensory and motor functions of lower extremities. This results from a blow to the neural or brain-related elements of the spinal cord. The areas of the spine affected are thoracic, lumbar, or sacral.
This is also known as Tetraplegia. This entails a state of paralysis caused due to injury to the spine, mainly affecting the limbs and the torso. Sensations, as well as control, are lost after such an injury. There can also be a loss of control over bladder, bowel, digestion, and breathing.
This results from an injury to the spine, causing paralysis in three limbs. This condition is referred to as Triplegia Muscle Anatomy. There is no constant pattern in the impairment of limbs, but usually, both the upper limbs and one lower limb are affected in this kind of spine injury.
The medical treatments immediately after spine injury involve traction and surgery.
After periodic medication, rehabilitation processes are vital to the recovery of a patient.
Speech and Swallow Therapy
Speech and Swallow therapy help a patient revive their ability to interact with others and take in food on a daily basis. There are three main processes:
- Language and Communication Training: This is a therapy that enables the patient to revive their lost abilities in speaking, writing, understanding speeches, and holding conversations.
- Chewing Therapy: The patient is trained to chew soft food, to further their ability to consume food.
- Swallowing Exercises: The patient is trained to gradually swallow their food for better digestion.
Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy
This helps to recover a patient and regain their ability to understand language and control their behavior towards other people.
- Therapy for Cognitive Disorders: This involves physical and psychological training to help a patient regain cognitive skills, boost memory, solve regular life happenings and understand situations.
- Behaviour Training: After regaining the cognitive skills of the patient, they are taken through behavior training in which their behavioral skills are processed.
This is also called rehab physiotherapy. The patient is trained to perform different kinds of physical activities to regain muscle strength and balancing power in lower the limbs.
Occupational therapy makes the patient carry out regular tasks that require physical movement. Tasks like using cutlery for eating, lifting water glasses, switching on or switching off lights and fans, writing notes, are carried out by the patients to help regain maximum strength and independent functioning.
Robotic Technology and Therapies
Ekso: This is a mechanical instrument that helps a recovering patient straighten their back, and initiates standing on their feet, independently.
Erigo: This instrument is used to bring a patient to a vertical and standing position from a horizontal and lying one.
Armeo Power: After a spinal cord injury, the limbs are weakened and unable to function independently. This machine enables the patient to gradually move their arms and regain functionality.
Balance Master: This is an instrument used to help a patient stand up, by providing the essential balance that they require. Through the usage of this machine, the patient is gradually able to regain physical balance and walk.
This process comes towards the end of the rehabilitation programme. In this phase, a recovering patient is trained to gradually walk, using balance masters, walkers, and support canes.
Spinal cord injury is an acute health condition that must be looked into, without any casual deterrence. For a complete cycle of recovery, one must be admitted to a rehabilitation hospital. For more details about post-hospitalization therapies, visit apokos.com