Serious spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis. But there are plenty of other consequences to the body that do not get quite as much attention, including problems with the bladder, bowels, sexual function, cardiovascular system and respiratory system. People with spinal cord injuries are especially susceptible to renal complications later in life, not to mention musculoskeletal injuries, osteoporosis, pain and other issues, aside from the social, financial and psychological repercussions.
People who have spinal cord injuries often require constant access to wheelchair-friendly locations, as well as appropriate needs for equipment, transportation, homecare, employment and other forms of support.
Physiotherapists help people with spinal cord injuries to resolve a variety of problems associated with their condition. After conducting a thorough assessment of the nature of the injury and the problems experienced by the patient, skilled physiotherapists are able to go to work deploying specific interventions that are appropriate for the case at hand.
Methods of physiotherapy treatment
Physiotherapy in Brampton for spinal cord injuries does not have quite the same precedent for treatment that other types of injuries and conditions do. Therefore, physiotherapists need to look to other, more explored areas of physiotherapy to determine what may or may not work for a given patient.
For example, let’s say a physiotherapist is working with a patient who suffers from C6 tetraplegia. If that person wants to be able to transfer themselves, without assistance, from a wheelchair to a bed, the therapist must have an understanding of the biomechanics of the movement strategies he or she will need to teach the patient. The therapist can apply what is known about working with C6 tetraplegics in general and combine that with the principles of teaching motor skills to determine the best way to teach the patient how to transfer themselves into their bed.
This is one of the many challenges of physiotherapy for spinal cord injuries—it requires much more creative thinking, as the field is not as well fleshed out as many other forms of physiotherapy might be. However, this is also the benefit of having a physiotherapist work with people who suffer from spinal cord injuries—the therapist is able (and often forced) to develop new solutions that work for each individual patient and help them to achieve their goals.
On a more general level, physiotherapists will have to confront and overcome the following three issues in working with just about any patient with a spinal cord injury: weakness, poor motor control and contractures. A solid understanding of these three issues is required to not just determine the best solution for the patient, but to actually figure out how to come to that solution.
The role of the field of physiotherapy in treating spinal cord injuries is complex and constantly evolving, but has many exciting possibilities for people who have limited mobility. For more information about what is involved with spinal cord physiotherapy in Brampton, we encourage you to contact our team today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.