If someone you care about just injured their spinal cord, then you may be looking into several physical therapies that can help relieve any lingering symptoms they may continue to experience long after they leave the hospital. There are many forms of spinal therapy, and the exact therapy types your loved one will needs depend highly on their exact injury type and location. Two common types of spinal therapy are spasticity management and aquatic therapy.
Read on to learn more about these two spinal rehab types, including how they work and their benefits.
1. Spasticity Management
Some spinal cord injuries can cause back muscle spasticity, a form of muscle overactivity that interrupts the normal communication between the brain and spinal cord. This excess muscle activity often causes pain and even interferes with the ability to perform everyday movements and activities after a spinal cord injury.
If your loved one experiences back spasticity as they recover from their injury, then their physician may recommend they engage in a spasticity management program. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce or even eliminate this muscle spasticity.
While several oral and injectable medications can help control this problem, physical therapy exercises can also help your loved one manage muscle spasticity naturally. Botulinum toxin, or Botox, injections are also sometimes an option. These injections encourage muscles to relax by interfering with the signals sent to them from the brain that cause them to contract.
2. Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is another popular type of spinal therapy that helps treat many of the ongoing problems a person may experience after a spinal cord injury. Just a few of these problems include impaired balance, muscle weakness, and a reduction in mobility.
Since water helps support the body by reducing the impact of movement, many exercises that aid in spine recovery can be performed in the water when the patient does not yet have the strength or mobility to perform them on land.
In addition, the hydrostatic pressure that water exerts on the human body helps prevent orthostatic hypertension, or dizziness upon standing, that often occurs after a spinal cord injury. When orthostatic hypertension is under control, a patient can perform physical therapy exercises that require movements that may trigger too much dizziness to practice outside of the water.
Also, when pool water is heated, the heat can help relax spastic muscles that spinal cord injuries can cause.
If you are helping someone who just experienced a spinal cord injury plan their spinal rehab, then you should now understand how two of the many types of spinal cord injury rehabilitation types your loved one may need work and their benefits.