Spinal cord injuries vary in severity, but many have dramatic and life changing consequences. Adjusting to life after an injury can be a daunting prospect but there’s plenty of hope and many people continue to live happy and fulfilled lives. Here’s some advice to help if you’ve recently suffered one of these injuries.
1 Know your injury
All spinal cord injuries are different. Not only do they differ in severity, but the position of the injury and its nature determine the kinds of treatment you will need and the activities that you’ll be capable of. A little research goes a long way in this area. Ask clinicians about the exact nature of the injury and what you can expect moving forward. Every injury will have different initial symptoms, but their long-term prognoses will differ too.
This affects the nature of your recovery and also determines the kind of support you will need. Nobody should face a spinal cord injury on their own. Accepting help is a key part of your recovery, but the type of injury you’ve suffered largely determines how much of that help you will require. Knowledge is power, and nowhere is that truer than with a spinal cord injury.
2 Consider treatment options
Despite the daunting nature of a spinal cord injury, there are lots of treatment options available. As medical science advances, so too do the number of these treatments. Painkillers of varying strengths are the go-to options for many along with crutches and in some cases a wheelchair, but physiotherapy and even simpler interventions like massage therapy can make a big difference to quality of life. It’s important, once again, to understand the nature of your injury. Not every treatment will be suitable for every kind of spinal cord injury, but don’t give up hope or presume that you’ve exhausted all options.
Spinal cord injury treatment options grow more advanced by the day and even include groundbreaking treatments like stem cell therapy. Others will be geared more towards pain management or increasing mobility. Extensive research and consultation with physicians will help you to identify the right treatment for your condition.
3 Look to the future
Suffering from a life changing injury can leave you feeling alone and trapped in the present moment, but no injury deprives a person of their future. Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on your recovery and life goals. Rather than abandoning your future plans, focus on the steps you can feasibly take to realize those aims. This might include physiotherapy, seeking out specific treatments or regaining a level of fitness.
Many people suffering from a spinal cord injury feel as though they have lost control over their lives. Planning for the future allows you to take back that control while developing a tangible set of goals to work towards. This helps to increase mental health, too, which can be a big problem for people with chronic injury. Having aims to motivate you every day makes a massive difference.