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Spinal Cord Injury: How effective physiotherapy is for SCI

Spinal Cord Injury is the most serious injury around the world. To recover from this injury, doctors believe that physiotherapy is an effective method. Read to know about the therapy's effectiveness.

Disha Sharma Written By: Disha Sharma New Delhi Published on: November 23, 2022 18:20 IST
Physiotherapy for Spinal Cord Injury
Image Source : FREEPIK Physiotherapy for Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) are the most common injuries that happen around the world every year. It occurs after traumatic or non-traumatic events that result in nerve damage which influences the motor system, sensory and respiratory function. Not just that, it also affects the bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Besides this, it also affects the individual's blood pressure, skin health, and ability to regulate temperature. 

There are four types of spinal cord injuries--- cervical, lumbar, thoracic, and sacral.

Effects of spinal cord injury: 

  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
  • Pain is caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
  • Loss of movement
  • Loss or changing sensation. This  includes the ability to feel cold, heat, and touch
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from your lungs

According to health professionals, physiotherapy is considered an effective therapy to restore the movement and function of the patient. Clinical experts believe that physiotherapy is a key component during the rehabilitation process to begin the functioning of the body. So, if you are suffering from a spinal cord injury, physiotherapy management can help to recover from the condition.  

There are six key steps in the therapy to manage individuals with SCI: 

  • A person can assess the impairments, limitations of the activity, and restrictions of the participants
  • Set the goals which are relevant to the activity limitations and participation restrictions
  • Identify the key impairments which are limited to the achievement of goals
  • Identify and administer the physiotherapy treatments. This involves strengthening, motor skill development, 
  • Joint mobility, cardiovascular fitness, respiratory functioning, and pain management. 
  • Measuring the outcome of treatments

The management of individuals with a Spinal Cord Injury is divided into three phases;

1) Acute

2) Sub-acute (Rehabilitation), and

3) Chronic (Long Term).

During the acute and subacute phases of treatment, rehabilitation strategies become important to prevent further complications. The treatment also promotes neuro recovery, which addresses the key impairments and maximizes the function of the body. While in the chronic phase, a coordinated pattern is required for community rehabilitation services to get long-term support for a person with a spinal cord injury.


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Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or medical advice.


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