Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

Spine. Care

Q
What is the focus of care for spinal cord injury (SCI)?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an insult to the spinal cord resulting in a change, either temporary or permanent, in the cord’s normal motor, sensory, or autonomic function. Patients with SCI usually have permanent and often devastating neurologic deficits and disabilities. The most important aspect of clinical care for the SCI patient is preventing complications […] Read More

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an insult to the spinal cord resulting in a change, either temporary or permanent, in the cord’s normal motor, sensory, or autonomic function. Patients with SCI usually have permanent and often devastating neurologic deficits and disabilities. The most important aspect of clinical care for the SCI patient is preventing complications related to disability. Supportive care decreases complications related to mobility. Further, in the future, our increasing fund of knowledge of the brain-computer interface might mitigate some disabilities associated with SCI.

Show Less
Q
What equipment will I need as I recover from spine surgery?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Incentive spirometer: Your nurse or respiratory therapist will show you how to do deep-breathing exercises with an incentive spirometer (breathing tool) every hour while you are awake. Urinary catheter: If you have a catheter (tube to drain your urine), it will be removed the day after surgery. Drain: If you have a drain from your […] Read More

Incentive spirometer: Your nurse or respiratory therapist will show you how to do deep-breathing exercises with an incentive spirometer (breathing tool) every hour while you are awake.

Urinary catheter: If you have a catheter (tube to drain your urine), it will be removed the day after surgery.

Drain: If you have a drain from your surgical incision (cut), it will be removed before you go home.

Leg/foot pumps: These are wraps that go around your legs or feet to help circulate blood through the legs and feet. These should be on whenever you are in bed.

Brace: Your surgeon may want you to wear a back or neck brace after surgery. Follow your surgeon’s instructions on when and how to wear the brace.

Show Less
Q
How should I prepare my home to live after spine surgery?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Seek out a family member or a friend who could assist you when you get home. Make arrangements for someone to be available to assist you after surgery and during the first few days of recovery. Prepare a “grabber” so you can pick up items off the floor without bending over. These are usually a […] Read More

Seek out a family member or a friend who could assist you when you get home. Make arrangements for someone to be available to assist you after surgery and during the first few days of recovery.

Prepare a “grabber” so you can pick up items off the floor without bending over. These are usually a few feet long and allow you to grasp socks, pens, and other items that may fall on the floor.

Prepared meals and healthy snacks will save time and energy.

Remove floor mats, clutter, and other items that could pose a tripping hazard.

Slip-on shoes will keep you from having to bend over to tie laces.

Make sure necessities are within easy reach. The waist level is best.

Make arrangements for child care and pet care.

Put night lights in the bathrooms and hallways.

Stop smoking. Smoking can inhibit the healing process and lead to more issues with your surgery.

Show Less
Q
What would life be like if you experienced a spinal cord injury?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Life after sustaining a spinal cord injury (SCI) is different for everyone. No two people sustain the exact same injury, so the severity of the injury and location of damage to the spinal cord will play a role in determining your initial condition. Some SCI survivors can experience a limited loss of sensation or mobility, […] Read More

Life after sustaining a spinal cord injury (SCI) is different for everyone. No two people sustain the exact same injury, so the severity of the injury and location of damage to the spinal cord will play a role in determining your initial condition. Some SCI survivors can experience a limited loss of sensation or mobility, whereas others with more severe injuries can experience complete paralysis. Some additional changes may include limitations or loss of independence and changes to or loss of sexual and excretory function control.

Each of these changes can change the day-to-day functions of life for you and your family. It can result in the need to reside at a specialized care facility, to move from a two-story to a one-story house, to change jobs or to quit one, to hire a home care worker, and to attend many treatment and therapy appointments.

What plays a critical role in your life after an SCI is keeping a positive attitude. Read or watch videos from some SCI survivors in the SpinalCord.com online community to hear about their experiences, learn some coping strategies, and find support.

Show Less
Q
How to cope with hemiplegia?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Learning to live with hemiplegia is a difficult process. From adjusting new exercise habits to re-learning how to do everyday tasks like cooking, almost every aspect of life will need to change. Exercises for Hemiplegia: As with any condition that affects a person’s freedom of movement, exercise can be a critical part of both alleviating […] Read More

Learning to live with hemiplegia is a difficult process. From adjusting new exercise habits to re-learning how to do everyday tasks like cooking, almost every aspect of life will need to change.

Exercises for Hemiplegia:

As with any condition that affects a person’s freedom of movement, exercise can be a critical part of both alleviating the symptoms of hemiplegia and improving a hemiplegic’s overall physical health and mental well-being.

For anyone planning to engage in physical activity with a disabling condition, it is important to consult with a doctor before starting hemiplegia exercises. Otherwise, there is a risk of overexertion, which can make injuries and hemiplegia symptoms worse rather than alleviate them.

Some potential hemiplegia exercises to consider:

Strength Training

Some strength training exercises are beneficial for hemiplegics. The training recommended may vary depending on the type of hemiplegia, but common exercises include knee rolling, single-leg drop-outs, and single-leg bridges, among others. In some cerebral hemiplegia patients, this can help improve range of motion and functionality in the affected limbs—though the result is rather unpredictable.

Muscle Stretches

Stretching specific muscle groups helps hemiplegics prevent some side effects of hemiplegia, such as joint/muscle pain from not moving limbs for too long and muscular atrophy. Spastic hemiplegics may need assistance in safely moving their contracted muscles without injury.

Seated Aerobics

Seated aerobics provide a relatively safe way to burn calories and improve health from virtually anywhere. This form of exercise is recommended for hemiplegics recovering from a spinal cord injury.

Water Aerobics                         

This hemiplegia exercise allows hemiplegics to relax their muscles and support the full weight of their bodies relatively easily as they stretch and work on their range of motion. Some rehabilitation programs use water aerobics to help people with paralysis to get out of the chair and experience some freedom of movement as they work muscles that are often neglected during in-chair exercises.

Sensory Problems:

Sensory problems, such as impaired vision, hearing, spatial awareness, and/or balance are common for hemiplegics—particularly in cases where the hemiplegia was caused by brain injury or infections.

Overcoming changes in spatial awareness, vision, and other senses may require a prolonged period of occupational therapy where therapists help hemiplegics adjust to the changes over time.

Personal Hygiene

Bladder and bowel control issues combined with a significant reduction in mobility can make maintaining personal hygiene a major challenge. Hemiplegics may need to establish a rigid hygienic routine that they follow every day to make doing things like changing catheters and taking care of other hygiene needs a habit.

Cooking

Limited mobility can be severely challenging to deal with in the kitchen. Hemiplegics may have extreme difficulty in reaching over a hot stove or standing up (even with crutches or other mobility aids) to reach high cabinets and shelves.

In many cases, the kitchen setup requires redesigning to improve accessibility from a wheelchair—including using lower counters and smaller appliances. Having a second person (such as a family member or live-in assistant) to help prepare meals and take care of the dishes can also be an enormous help.

Eating and Drinking

Re-learning how to eat with one hand is difficult for many hemiplegics (especially with their non-dominant hand). Hemiplegics may spend time with both physical and occupational therapists to build strength in their functioning hands and remaster the fine motor control needed to eat regular meals. There may even be difficulty swallowing due to muscle weakness and discoordination if the hemiplegia is due to a brain injury or stroke.

Some hemiplegics may change their eating habits, avoiding foods that normally require two hands to properly eat (like tough steaks where they would hold the meat in place with a fork while cutting it). They may also change how foods are prepared, so they are easier to eat one-handed.

Housework

Getting into the nooks and crannies of a home to clear dust and dirt is made much more difficult with one functioning arm and leg. Hemiplegics who want to get common housework tasks (like doing dishes and sweeping their floors) done on their own may need to adjust the layout of their homes to make every place easier to reach.

Some tools, like robot vacuums, can make the task of sweeping easier—though cleaning and maintaining the robot itself can be a challenge on its own. It is a common practice to have a family member or a live-in assistant to help with common housework tasks.

Dressing

Getting dressed when one side of the body is weak or unable to move can be frustrating. Tasks like buttoning a shirt or tying a shoelace can feel virtually impossible to do with one hand. However, there are some assistive devices, tips, and tricks that hemiplegics can use when getting dressed.

For example, the American Stroke Association advises people to “choose loose-fitting clothes and silky fabrics” because they are easier to slip on and off than coarser fabrics. They also recommend starting with the affected side of the body when putting on shirts, pants, stockings, etc.

If you find tying one-handed knots or securing small buttons to be difficult, then consider avoiding clothes that use lots of buttons or shoes with laces—opt for shirts with fewer buttons (like polos or t-shirts) and slip-on loafers or Velcro shoes instead. Adding rings or strings to zipper pulls can make them easier to move, switching to clip-on ties, and using button hooks can also help make getting dressed easier.

Show Less
Q
Are there exercises to boost rehabilitation?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Particularly in the early days after a spinal cord injury, you might be tempted to languish in bed. Moving around certainly seems counterintuitive when you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury to your body. However, exercises after a spinal cord injury can expedite your SCI rehabilitation, in addition to offering several health benefits. Exercises Ideas: Yoga: ideal […] Read More

Particularly in the early days after a spinal cord injury, you might be tempted to languish in bed. Moving around certainly seems counterintuitive when you've suffered a catastrophic injury to your body. However, exercises after a spinal cord injury can expedite your SCI rehabilitation, in addition to offering several health benefits.

Exercises Ideas:

Yoga: ideal for spinal cord injury survivors because the gentle stretching encourages healthy breathing patterns, and can reduce the pain of spending all or most of the day in a wheelchair.

Water Aerobics: The water reduces pain and joint trauma, and helps support your weight even if you've lost a significant portion of your mobility or sensation.

Weightlifting: Lifting weights can help you regain significant muscle control. It will also enable you to maintain strength in regions unaffected by your spinal cord injury.

Seated Aerobics: You can still get an incredible aerobic workout from your wheelchair. The doctor can recommend seated aerobic classes targeted to spinal cord injury survivors.

Rowing: Rowing is an ideal aerobic activity because it requires movement in the upper body, but uses the lower body to stabilize movements, making it an ideal choice for injury survivors with incomplete spinal cord injuries.

Walking: If your spinal cord injury is incomplete, or you have only sustained nerve damage, you may still be able to walk. Maximize your muscle function by walking as frequently as is comfortable, maintaining a steady gait, and an upright posture.

Exercise benefits:

·       Improving mental health by reducing depression and anxiety;

·       Reducing the risk of cancer;

·       Improving symptoms of chronic pain;

·       Helping to avoid chronic illnesses such as diabetes and osteoporosis;

·       Reducing the risk of falls;

·       Improving the chances of living a longer life.

Show Less
Q
When to call the doctor?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
You should call your healthcare provider if you experience: ·       Back pain with fever. ·       Bowel or bladder control issues. ·       Leg weakness or pain that moves from your back down your legs. ·       Pain that worsens, causes nausea or sleeplessness or interferes with daily activities. Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10040-spine-structure-and-function Read More

You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:

·       Back pain with fever.

·       Bowel or bladder control issues.

·       Leg weakness or pain that moves from your back down your legs.

·       Pain that worsens, causes nausea or sleeplessness or interferes with daily activities.

Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10040-spine-structure-and-function

Show Less
Q
How to keep the spine healthy?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Strong back muscles can protect your spine and prevent back problems. Try to do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least twice a week. Exercises like planks strengthen the core (abdominal, side, and back muscles) to give your spine more support. Other protective measures include: Bending knees and keeping back straight when lifting items. Losing weight, […] Read More

Strong back muscles can protect your spine and prevent back problems. Try to do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least twice a week. Exercises like planks strengthen the core (abdominal, side, and back muscles) to give your spine more support.

Other protective measures include:

Bending knees and keeping back straight when lifting items.

Losing weight, if needed (excess weight strains your back).

Maintaining good posture.

Show Less
Q
What is the best type of exercise to alleviate and prevent back pain?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
Exercise is one of the most important treatments that your doctor can recommend reducing back pain. Regular strengthening (core strengthening, resistance, or weight training), flexibility (stretching), and aerobic exercise (three to five times per week) will improve your overall health and reduce the further likelihood of back injury. Many doctors and specialists provide their patients […] Read More

Exercise is one of the most important treatments that your doctor can recommend reducing back pain. Regular strengthening (core strengthening, resistance, or weight training), flexibility (stretching), and aerobic exercise (three to five times per week) will improve your overall health and reduce the further likelihood of back injury. Many doctors and specialists provide their patients with proper exercise techniques to alleviate symptoms and prevent further back pain episodes from occurring.

When exercising, follow these simple rules:

• Do each exercise slowly.

• Start with five repetitions of each exercise, and work up to 10 repetitions.

• Always remember to begin and end your exercise sessions with stretching.

Show Less
Q
Should I put ice or heat to reduce a low sore back?
A
AGE2B consultant
0
This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions about the treatment of back pain. Both ice and heat can help in alleviating pain, but it’s important to know when to use them. Ice reduces inflammation or swelling by decreasing blood flow from constricted blood vessels. Placing an ice pack on the area shortly […] Read More

This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions about the treatment of back pain. Both ice and heat can help in alleviating pain, but it’s important to know when to use them. Ice reduces inflammation or swelling by decreasing blood flow from constricted blood vessels. Placing an ice pack on the area shortly after the pain begins (within 48 hours) can help with pain relief. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for up to 20 minutes every two hours, but remember to protect your skin from frostbite by using a thin sheet or towel.

Local application of heat or ice can temporarily reduce back pain, and heat may facilitate stretching. Heat also is good for soothing sore back muscles, especially after the initial 48 hours have passed. Either dry heat (such as an electric heating pad) or moist heat (such as a hot bath or steamed towels) can be used. It is important to keep in mind, however, that ice and heat do not necessarily speed long-term recovery.

Show Less

    Ask your Question

    Would you like to get the answer to your mailbox? (not mandatory)