Spinal Injury Rehabilitation
If injured sufficiently, the regenerative capacity of the spinal cord—at least, on its own—is not nearly as great as other parts of the body. Trauma—from automobile accidents, sports injuries, or falls—can damage the nerves responsible for movement in parts of the body. Depending on where the spinal cord is injured, patients may experience paralysis of digits or limbs.
Fortunately, there are many options available for physical rehabilitation. Intense physical therapy from a licensed medical professional can help prevent further loss of mobility. Though the aftermath of a spinal cord injury may be terrible, patients who commit to their physical therapy regiments show demonstrably better mobility over patients who avoid the trials of physical rehabilitation.
New advances in medical technology—particularly techniques employing stem cells—offer patients, physicians, and medical researchers alike hope that even severe spinal cord injuries may someday be completely rehabilitated. Normally, the spinal cord lacks the ability to generate new specialized cells. Stem cells, on the other hand, are human developmental cells found in the umbilical cord that have yet to specialize to perform a specific function within the body. Researchers hope to reliably produce stem cells that can then become specialized cells within the spinal cord, restoring function, sensation, and patient mobility.
Apart from physical rehabilitation, there are also many emotional support networks in place, mainly classified by the extent of the patient’s injury. Physical therapy may help to preserve mobility, but patients and their families often struggle to come to terms with their new lifestyles. Support networks provide emotional therapy as well as an outlet for personal grief. Counseling can also provide families with information on how to adjust their homes and daily routines to better accommodate patients with spinal cord injuries.
Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Houston TX Gary Kraus MD Masaki Oishi Md PhD
Houston Back Injury and Houston Neck Injury Experts