What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

What Spinal Cord Injury Patients Can Accomplish with Physiotherapy

Sims Uterine Curette 31.0 cm , Blunt, Rigid Plain Shaft, 8mm
Source: Flickr

Sports injuries and car accidents, among other injuries, can cause spinal cord injury. The range of spinal cord injury is wide. Some of these injuries are fairly minor and will heal well with a limited amount of physiotherapy, while others need physiotherapy for the rest of their lives.

As always with physiotherapy, the first step is evaluation. A plan is formulated that will include therapies specific to the kind of spinal cord injury the patient has. Neck injuries can cause quadriplegia, which requires special treatments.

An important issue in spinal cord injury is the level of the damage. If a physiotherapy program is not followed faithfully, the spine will begin to atrophy below the level of the spinal cord injury. The spine will shrink and the whole body below that point will become weaker as time goes by.

It is important that spinal cord injury patients get exercise of some form. They are prone to osteoporosis and heart problems, among other conditions. If there is a total lack of exercise, these risk factors become even more pronounced.

Physiotherapy for spinal cord injury involves exercising and stimulating the nerves and muscles below the level of the damage. This will allow patients with spinal cord injury to stay in good physical condition where they can. That way, if a cure becomes available, they will not be too weakened to benefit from it.

Every exercise the physiotherapy personnel go through with the spinal cord injury patient should be video-taped. This allows work to go on at home with an example of each exercise. Range-of-motion exercises are done by a caregiver, who moves the limbs so that they will not become set in one position.

For spinal cord injury patients who are not quadriplegics, there is physiotherapy using mats. These mats are raised off the floor, and can be operated by a hand crank or a power system. The physiotherapist will give exercises where the patient lies on the side, back, or stomach and works out or sits up and works out.

There are many restorative therapies in physiotherapy for spinal cord injury patients. These include electrical stimulation, biofeedback, vibrational therapy, laser therapy and other stimulation activities. Aqua therapy is also a physiotherapy method that is conducive to progress in spinal cord injury patients.

With all these therapies, spinal cord injury patients can sometimes restore themselves to earlier functioning. Other times, they can simply keep their bodies from deteriorating as they wait for a cure.

Spinal cord injury research is being conducted constantly. Physiotherapy is one of the fields that are being explored. One study is putting spinal cord injury patients in harnesses over treadmills stimulating walking. They are trying to find a way to help people walk again who had given up hope of doing so.

Physiotherapy gives hope for spinal cord injury patients. It allows them to have the most normal functioning that they are currently able to have. Perhaps when a cure comes outcomes will be even better. However, physiotherapy will probably always be needed for spinal cord injury patients.

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Sports Injuries

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Sports Injuries

Chester Elementary School, Chester, NY
Source: Flickr

When players have sports injuries, they turn to physiotherapy for rehabilitation. Physiotherapy, also called physical therapy, offers help whether the player is having surgery to correct the damage or not.

One example of the many sports injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. This is an injury to the knee. It is one of the common sports injuries in people who play sports that challenge their knees, such as hockey, skating, skiing, basketball, and of course, football. It can limit the range of a player’s motion in that leg, and make the leg weak.

Surgery is sometimes done for these sports injuries, but physiotherapy is always a part of the treatment. The three major exercises done to start the healing process of ACL are heel slides, quad sets, and straight leg raises.

Heel slides are exercises for ACL sports injuries that are easy to understand, but may be painful to do at first. One simply lies on the bed or floor with the foot down. Then, one slides the foot slowly towards the buttocks until it hurts a little, and slides it back. This and the other exercises help prepare the knee for surgery or to heal without it.

Another of the sports injuries that physiotherapy is used for is tennis elbow. One might get tennis elbow from playing tennis, certainly, but it can also come about from any activity that involves twisting the wrist.

Sports injuries like tennis elbow are treated with a comprehensive plan of physiotherapy. Exercises are explained and assigned. Another common procedure for sports injuries is the use of ultrasound. Ultrasound is a way of applying heat deep into the muscle for pain relief.

Electrical stimulation can be used to keep pain from being felt through the nervous system. It is used for tennis elbow and many other sports injuries. Massage and manual therapy can also be used for physiotherapy.

Massage is one of the forms of soft tissue manipulation. However, soft tissue manipulation is to muscles what chiropractic is to bones. It deals not only with muscle, but with tendons and connective tissue as well. It is a specialized field of physiotherapy that has been used for people with sports injuries on many occasions.

As many children’s sports teams are becoming ever more competitive, sports injuries among youngsters is increasing. Often, a well-meaning parent will tell the child to shake it off and keep playing. It is even more important for children to get adequate physiotherapy than it is for adults. Children are just developing, and a problem in childhood can lead to lifelong pain.

Some sports injuries happen because something physically traumatic happens to your body. Someone runs into you as you run with the football towards the end zone, for example. Other times, it is simply a matter of the physical demands you put on your body.

Physiotherapy is instrumental in the healing of many sports injuries. Many professional sports teams have physiotherapists on their staffs. In fact, either ACL or tennis elbow can become permanent conditions without the use of physiotherapy procedures.