A spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the wounds Atlanta car accident victims sustain in high-impact crashes. An SCI, when severe, can have devastating life consequences. In some cases, victims lose lower body functions, while others may lose functions from their neck down. Thankfully, some can recover body functions but with rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury can be a frustrating process. The extent of your injury determines how long the rehab process will take. This article discusses what to expect from an SCI rehab following an Atlanta car accident.
Contact our Atlanta car accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm if you or anyone you know suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash. We offer excellent legal advice and representation.
The Role of Physical Therapy in Spinal Cord Injury Rehab
Every SCI victim needs physical therapy (PT). Physical therapy will help you regain function, improve mobility, and prevent complications that arise due to this type of injury. A typical physical therapy program will consist of :
- Respiratory conditioning
- Strength training
- Mobility training
- Cardiovascular exercise
As crucial as PT is to your recovery from a spinal cord injury, it is not without limitations. Usually, the effects of physical therapy are limited by ventilator dependence, neuropathic and somatic pain, and psychosocial challenges. If you find it hard to start or maintain a physical therapy program, you should talk to your physical therapist.
What Are the Types of Spinal Cord Injury Rehab?
Below, we look at some of the SCI rehabs you may undertake after a car accident.
Weight-Supported Locomotor Training (WSLT)
Weight-supported locomotor training may be part of your SCI rehab, and it helps to improve mobility. This rehab technique uses assisted devices and therapists to support weight when using a treadmill or walking on the ground. Additionally, WSLT aims to encourage nerve reconnection between the regions above the traumatic injury and the locomotor central pattern generator with the spinal cord.
The locomotor pattern generator is a region of neurons that triggers movement without sensory input from the brain. In addition to improving assisted mobility, WSLT helps your cardiorespiratory health. Lastly, it prevents pressure sores and other spinal cord injuries and joint-related complications.
Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
Functional electrical stimulation is an exciting spinal cord injury treatment. It holds great promise, particularly for people who have been through a severe spinal cord injury. The FES device is a stimulator that connects to electrodes. They are surgically implanted near the spinal cord and send pulses of low-level electricity down the spine.
The pulse mimics the brain signal that activates muscular movement. The primary goal of this SCI rehab is to reactivate damaged nerves, allowing you to regain motor control. The latter includes being able to walk, move the lower body, and have normal bladder/bowel function. Furthermore, FES lowers your chances of developing systemic complications of SCI like pressure sores and respiratory problems.
Occupational therapy is a rehab that helps people of all ages deal with physical, cognitive, and sensory problems. In other words, it teaches injury victims how to adapt. A spinal cord injury victim works with an occupational therapist to address the social, emotional, and functional aspects of life.
The goal is to make you as independent as possible after your injury. To this end, your therapist focuses on integrating adaptive devices into your daily life to help you stay independent at home and work. These devices include spinal braces and orthoses, lifts, wheelchairs, bathroom equipment, controls for lights, television, or phones.
A spinal cord injury recovery goes beyond the physical. There are mental and emotional hurdles to overcome. Thus, you may need to work with a psychologist and a recreational therapist in addition to an occupational therapist.
These three healthcare professionals will help you and your family adjust to the peculiar challenges of living with an SCI. They might introduce talk therapy, music therapy, and other activities that would be helpful to you. The goal is to ensure you don’t slip into depression and have the mental strength to work towards a normal life.
Did You Suffer an SCI in a Car Accident? Let The Weinstein Firm Help You!
A spinal cord injury is catastrophic because it can change a person’s life forever. Thankfully, if your SCI results from a car accident you’re not at fault for, Georgia law allows you to get compensation. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help you with this.
At The Weinstein Firm, we have won millions in compensation for our clients in Atlanta and other parts of Georgia. We’ll do the same for you, so call today for a free case review.