Spinal Cord Injury

Pauline Ong

I had medial meniscus tear with osteoarthritis 4 months ago. The doctor suggested surgery but I wanted to try the non-surgical methods first. I was thus introduced to PhysioActive. I have undergone treatment with ultrasound and shockwave therapy, as well as incorporated exercises to strengthen my core muscles, quadriceps and hamstring and not forgetting functional exercises. I am now almost 100% pain-free. Thank u so much!

Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is a disturbance of the spinal cord that results in loss of sensation and/or mobility. This disturbance, or area of damage, is commonly referred to as a lesion.

There are two common causes of spinal cord lesion:

  • Trauma (road traffic accidents, falls etc.)
  • Disease (spina bifida, tumours etc.)

Spinal cord injuries can be organised into two categories:

  • Complete lesion – no function, voluntary movement or physical sensation below the level of the lesion. Both sides of the body are always equally affected.
  • Incomplete lesion – the effects are variable dependent on the severity of the lesion. An individual may have more functioning or movement on one side of the body than the other, or may be able to feel parts of the body that cannot be moved.

Effects of Spinal Cord Injury

The effects of a spinal cord injury are dependent on the type and level of the lesion. Effects are seen below the level of a lesion and can present as a reduction or complete:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of voluntary movement
  • Loss of proprioception (awareness of joint position in space)
  • Loss of bladder and bowel function
  • Loss of sexual function

Individuals also commonly experience:

  • reduced ability to breathe deeply and cough
  • pain
  • muscular spasms

Spinal Cord Injury Physiotherapy Treatment

Physiotherapy for patients with spinal cord injuries can include:

  • Exercises and stretches
  • Joint care
  • Pain control
  • Anticipating and minimising secondary complications
  • Provision of equipment, orthoses, and wheelchairs
  • Advice for you and those caring for you on handling techniques
  • Teaching you how to use specialised exercise equipment
  • Teach transfers (getting in and out of a wheelchair, bed, car, shower/bath and onto and off a toilet).
  • Teaching wheelchair skills
  • Breathing exercises and chest clearance techniques
  • Referral to appropriate health professionals

The effects of physiotherapy can be:

  • Increased quality of life
  • Increased independence
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced pain and muscle spasms
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Reduced risk of chest infections
© 2022 - PhysioActive Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.