What Is The Most Common Cause Of SCI?
The most common cause of SCI are car crashes according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Older people (aged 60+ years old) usually get a spinal transection or contusion because of an incident involving the latter, although it’s also not uncommon for the elderly to get SCI through vehicular accidents as well.
But it’s important to note that everyone —regardless of age — is vulnerable to getting into a car accident. The car-centric culture of most areas in the United States makes this the case. And in the event that your spine gets bruised or cut because of a collision, drastic medical intervention needs to happen for any chances of reversing a spinal cord injury.
Unfortunately, advancements in medicine and technology aren’t at the level where people suffering from SCI can get the treatment needed for a heightened chance of full recovery. However, there have been promising recent developments in the realm of SCI recovery research. Here are some of them:
Technological Developments In SCI Recovery So Far
A Freethink article has outlined recent developments in SCI reversal. The article reports that people with spinal cord injury may opt to get stem cell therapy and/or acquire a device called Brain Computer Interfaces. In a nutshell…
Stem Cell Research
Stem Cell therapy may help reverse an injury in the spine. This is made possible through the regenerative properties of stem cells. If injected in the injured site of the spine, they may aid in its revitalization.
It’s important to note that stem cell research is still undergoing. The article notes that while stem cell treatments have been beneficial to some, they have had little to no effects on others. The inconsistent results of stem cell therapy so far demands more scrutiny from experts. Regardless, its potential is a shining beacon of hope for SCI patients who aim for full recovery.
Brain Computer Interfaces
An assistive device called Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) may also help an SCI patient fully recover from their injury. BCI amplifies the signal from the brain to the body, bridging the gap between the two and facilitating movement and control below the site of the injury. There is, however, a downside to BCI.
The article states that tissues end up forming around this assistive device which could disrupt and/or weaken the signals it seeks to amplify. As a result, those with this assistive device may experience blips in their movement and control overtime. More research needs to be done to address this flaw. In addition, partaking in physical activities releases endorphins which could further aid in regulating their emotions.
Common Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Technology may not have caught up just yet to facilitate an equitable and full recovery for everyone with SCI, but there are some things SCI patients could do to alleviate the issues they’re facing with their disability. A lot of them end up being plagued with physical and mental issues due to the limits imposed on them by their injury.
It’s not uncommon for people with SCI to have low self-esteem and heightened body image issues. This is why it’s extremely important for SCI patients to take care of their mental and physical health. These two things go hand in hand, and if their physical health is in poor shape so will their mental health and vice versa.
Physical Rehabilitation for SCI Patients
SCI patients must make sure that exercise is still integrated into their everyday lives. Having a physical therapist walk them through movement therapy may aid in an SCI patient’s depression. Overcoming physical limitations with SCI is extremely challenging, but it may be possible with the help of an expert. Doing so may help them feel fulfilled and revitalize their sense of purpose in life.
As mentioned above, the improvement of one’s mental health correlates with the improvement of their physical health. This principle applies even more so with SCI patients. This is why in order to take care of their physical health, they must also take care of their mental health.
One way people with SCI can take care of their mental wellness is by seeing a mental health professional. Having a mental health expert navigate their complex emotions amid this injury will help them develop healthy coping mechanisms whenever they feel depressed about their new reality. It could also help them gain a new perspective on their injury, which may make them feel slightly better about their injury.
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