A spinal cord injury is a life-altering event that can bring about a great deal of change to your very mode of existence. Such an injury leaves the patient paralyzed, partly or fully – depending on its intensity, physically disabled and unable to do perform even the simple tasks that require the use of limbs. Although it is vital to go through medication and post hospitalization rehabilitation processes to attain the maximum possible recovery, one must make sure to be cautious of the regular life activities after returning home. A patient, after encountering a spinal cord injury, still has a long way to go in terms of complete recovery because of the loss of balance, neurotic senses, dysfunctional limbs, and mental stress.
The health and lifestyle tips to follow are:
Regular Exercise: After recovering from a spinal cord injury, it is vital to maintaining proper bone health. Daily stretching and walking exercises are required to help the patient reduce pain and discomfort that persists for a short period of time even after medical intervention assures discharge from the care center. This will help the patient regain strength in their limbs, regain the ability to perform simple regular activities, and gradually regain physical balance.
Proper Posture: Along with exercises, the patient must make sure to sit upright, stand straight, and sleep in a straight position. Sitting for too long is not ideal, as it adds to the pressure around the lower part of the spine. Keeping the spine straight also allows proper functioning of the central nervous system, which is usually negatively affected by an injury. Slouching is also not good for the development of a good posture that enables proper blood and hormonal flow. Try to sleep on a firm mattress that does not sink in and cause the spine to bend and stay in that position for long hours.
Balanced Nutrition: Nutritious food is the key to good health. Make sure that there is an intake of foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, proteins, and probiotic content. Calcium is the most important nutrient that improves bone density and health. Foods like yogurt, cheese, milk, soya beans, bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, berries, nuts, eggs, meat, and whole grains are used for positive development of health after spinal cord injury rehabilitation. A healthy spine, with a good level of calcium, leads to a better functioning nervous system.
Quality Sleep: Sleep is an important aspect of life. Sleeping for about a minimum of six to eight hour per day reduces physical and mental stress. Relaxation helps the body rejuvenate and regain its strength for functioning throughout another day. Sleeping on a firm mattress, in a straight position, will improve the posture and provide some comfort to the spine, which is the arterial feature of the skeletal system.
Following the above tips after a spinal cord injury and its appropriate medical operations, will lead to a healthier lifestyle and help the patient regain independence to move around and interact with others. For more information on spinal cord injury and the possible recovery methods, visit apokosrehab.com
Dr Anirudh Chirania
Dr Anirudh Chirania is a Consultant Physiatrist with ApoKOS Rehabilitation Hospital, Hyderabad. He is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist for Stroke and Pain Management and has an active experience of over 2 years. He completed his MBBS from IPGMER, Kolkata in 2010, and obtained his DNB (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) from Sambhunath Pandit Hospital, Kolkata in 2015. Dr Anirudh also holds a fellowship in Pain Management from Aesculap Academy.