Tips for recovery after an incomplete spinal cord injury

Some crashes, including those involving vehicles and pedestrians, lead to victims suffering spinal cord injuries. These don’t always involve paralysis, but most of them do have a lengthy healing process. Typically, incomplete spinal cord injuries aren’t so serious that they cause paralysis but they are serious enough that they cause lasting problems.

The days after an incomplete spinal cord injury can be difficult. You are going to have to prepare yourself for a long recovery that might be challenging as you learn how to function as fully as possible despite the damage and impacts.

  • The first few days are especially important after an incomplete injury. As the swelling in the spinal cord goes down, there is a chance that you will regain even more use of the affected areas.
  • Incomplete injuries have a better chance of additional recovery than complete injuries. This includes the ability to move the impacted limbs and regain feeling in them.
  • The ability to feel sensations in the affected areas is a sign that you might have more recovery. One key is how the muscles recover after the injury. Around two out of three people who have a neck injury and can feel a pin stick in the leg will eventually regain the ability to walk.
  • Patients who don’t recover muscle movement during the first few weeks are less likely to be able to regain use of the legs, but may recover use of their arms.
  • Regaining use of the limbs will take time and effort. As long as you are seeing improvements, no matter how small, there is still a chance that you will be able to continue to improve.
  • Focus on your abilities, not your disabilities. Keeping a positive attitude about the situation can help you in your recovery. There might be time when it seems easier to quit, but you should persist and work hard.
  • Find assistive devices that can help you thrive. These might include wheelchairs or walkers, special transportation vehicles, ramps, grab bars and other similar items. Your physical therapist can discuss the options with you so you can choose the ones that suit your lifestyle.

Life after an incomplete spinal cord injury can be expensive, partially because of the medical and therapy bills. If the accident that caused the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you might choose to seek compensation for the financial damages.

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