While many people are aware of strokes that occur in the brain, few know about spinal cord strokes. Spinal cord strokes, which are also called spinal cord infarctions, are very similar to strokes that happen in the brain — they both occur when cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients and begin to die off. If a major artery leading to your spine is blocked by a blood clot, the spinal cord cells fed by that artery will start to die, causing a spinal cord stroke.
Spinal cord strokes often result in extreme pain in the section of your spine that's affected, and they can also cause weakness or paralysis in your limbs that gradually worsens as the cells in your spine die off. If you think that you're experiencing a spinal cord stroke, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that blood flow can be restored — this minimizes the amount of damage that the cells in your spine will sustain.
However, surviving a spinal cord stroke doesn't end with immediate treatment; you'll also need to undergo spinal rehab. A spinal cord stroke causes damage to your spinal cord, which hampers your brain's ability to send nerve signals to your limbs. Spinal rehab helps you repair the damage done to your spine and spurs the growth of new cells in your spinal cord that allow your brain and limbs to effectively communicate again. To learn four reasons why spinal rehab is important after suffering a spinal cord stroke, read on.
1. Offers Intense Physical Therapy That Encourages Healing
The primary component of spinal rehab is intensive physical therapy. Like recovering after a stroke in your brain, rehab for spinal cord strokes involves training your spine on how to compensate for the damage that has been done to its nerve cells.
Guided physical therapy provides a safe environment for you to perform tasks such as walking. Repetitive tasks strengthen connections between nerves, increase muscle tone and improve blood circulation around your spine, and all of these factors will aid in your recovery after your spinal cord stroke.
2. Prevents Loss of Muscle Strength, Which Can Delay Recovery
Spinal rehab clinics offer services that are more frequent and more intense than other clinics offering physical therapy. Physical therapy appointments during spinal rehab may last for hours, and you'll have appointments almost every day because it's important to keep up with regular movement after a spinal cord stroke. If you lie in bed or sit in a chair for most of the day, your muscles will begin to weaken from disuse.
Weakened muscles will hamper your recovery. Regular physical therapy appointments allow you to exercise frequently, keeping your muscles strong and ready to aid in movement. It's a good idea to seek physical rehabilitation services as soon as possible after your spinal cord stroke, as this will prevent your muscles from weakening and interfering with your ability to successfully recover.
3. Reduces the Risk of Further Health Complications Due to Poor Mobility
Regaining your mobility after a spinal cord stroke improves your ability to perform daily activities, and it also helps to prevent future health complications. Regular activity helps to reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis, which occurs when blood clots form in your legs, and the risk increases when you're not moving your legs often. A blood clot that forms in your legs can dislodge itself and travel to your heart, causing a heart attack, so it's important to minimize this risk. In addition, moving around frequently also helps to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers forming on your skin, which occur when you sit or lie in the same position for a very long period of time.
If you have had a spinal cord stroke, you should schedule an appointment with a spinal rehab center in your area. Starting physical therapy as soon as possible will help you avoid losing muscle tone, which makes the recovery process easier. While the intense physical therapy offered at a spinal rehab clinic may seem intimidating, it offers you the best chance of being able to regain your mobility and live your life comfortably after having a spinal cord stroke.Share
24 August 2021
One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.