- Make modifications to your home to improve accessibility and safety while navigating your home.
- Consult a doctor or physiotherapist before starting any exercise program, and use adaptive equipment to exercise safely and comfortably.
- Manage pain with medication, physical therapy, meditation, deep breathing, acupuncture, and alternative therapies.
- Seek emotional support from family and friends, join a support group, or consult a mental health professional.
- Build a support network of people who can provide emotional and practical support.
Spinal injury can be debilitating and affect your daily life significantly. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, and the causes are many, including accidents, falls, sports injuries, or medical conditions. Whether the spinal injury is mild or severe, it requires proper care and attention to help you to cope with it. This post will discuss how to deal with a spinal injury in your daily life, including tips for daily activities, managing pain, and emotional support.
1. Making modifications in your home:
The number one step in coping with a spinal injury is to make suitable modifications to your home to improve accessibility and safety. For example, installing grab bars, ramps, and handrails can help to make your life easier and safer. Also, consider re-organizing your furniture to make navigating your home easier and avoid falls.
If you’re living with a disability, you may also need to use wheelchairs or scooters. Invest in good quality devices that are comfortable and easy to use. For example, electric wheelchairs come in a variety of sizes and options to choose from. This will make getting around your home much more manageable.
2. Exercise and physiotherapy:
Exercise can be beneficial for individuals with spinal injuries. Regular exercise and physiotherapy can help to maintain muscle strength and flexibility and prevent further complications. However, you must consult your doctor or physiotherapist before starting any exercise program. They can also guide you about adaptive equipment that can help you to exercise safely and comfortably. Here are some steps you might take:
a. Get an MRI scan
You should get an MRI scan to check your current condition and help plan the right exercises for you. This will help determine the severity of your injury and enable your doctor or physiotherapist to customize a program best suited to your needs. If lying down is an issue, specialized upright MRI scanners allow individuals with limited mobility to be scanned while in an upright position. This makes the process much more comfortable and safe.
b. Start with low-impact exercises
When you’re starting an exercise program, begin with low-impact exercises such as yoga or swimming. This will help you to build strength and flexibility without putting too much strain on your body.
c. Take breaks
Remember to take short breaks when you feel tired or in pain. Pushing yourself too hard can cause further injuries and worsen your condition. When you feel overwhelmed, take a break and come back when you feel ready.
d. Seek professional help
If you feel lost or uncomfortable when exercising, it is essential to seek professional advice. A physiotherapist can provide valuable guidance and support in helping you to manage your condition and start an exercise program.
3. Pain management:
Dealing with pain is often difficult for people with spinal injuries. Medication can be helpful for this purpose, but it should be used under the guidance of a doctor. Physical therapy can also be beneficial in controlling pain and managing mobility. Meditation, deep breathing, and acupuncture are also effective in managing pain. Depending on the severity of your injury, you should also consider alternative therapies such as massage or chiropractic care.
4. Emotional support:
Coping with a spinal injury can be emotionally challenging. It is essential to seek emotional support to cope with your emotional and psychological needs. Seek help from family and friends, or join a support group. Also, consider consulting a mental health professional who can help you to deal with depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues. They can provide valuable guidance and resources to help you manage your condition.
5. Building a support system:
Building a support system is crucial when coping with a spinal injury. You can’t do it alone; having the right support is essential. A team of doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and family can help you cope with the injury better. Start by building a support network of people who understand your condition and can provide emotional and practical support. They can help you to manage your day-to-day activities, keep up with treatments, and stay connected with the world.
Coping with a spinal injury requires patience, perseverance, proper care, and attention. With the right strategies and support, you can learn to live a fulfilling life despite the injury’s challenges. Whether it’s making modifications in your home, engaging in exercise and physiotherapy, managing pain, seeking emotional support, or building the right support system, it’s essential to take one step at a time and focus on the things you can control. Remember, each day is a new opportunity to overcome the challenges of a spinal injury and lead a meaningful life.