Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord transmits nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body. Spinal cord injury occurs when these nerves are damaged or compromised in some way, either by external trauma such as a fall, car crash, sports injury, accident or assault, or through diseases such as polio and spina bifida that affect the vessels and soft tissues that surround the spinal cord. The result of spinal cord injury is partial or complete loss of feeling and voluntary movement below the level of the injury.

As yet there has been little success in completely reversing most types of spinal cord injury. Long-term treatment programmes focus on rehabilitation so that the affected person can live a fulfilled, successful life within their community.

Rehabilitation may involve:

  • Psychological counselling
  • Techniques to manage spasticity
  • Restoring upper body function
  • Bowel and bladder neurogenic management techniques
  • Education and Empowerment
  • Use of orthotic devices, prostheses, and assistive technology
  • Prevention of further injuries

Physical therapy is essential to prevent muscular contractures and body de-conditioning. This is where the Revivo Intensive Suit therapy can be of great assistance. Revivo’s intensive, progressively more challenging programme involves physically wearing specific items of skeletal support clothing that are designed to realign the body to its normal postural weight-bearing position. This can help to normalize vestibular and sensory functions as well as muscle tone.

While wearing this clothing the patient works intensively along with a therapist to perform a customized programme of intensive, repetitive, resistance exercises that isolate individual muscles or affected muscle groups. These exercises become progressively more difficult and are designed to build strength, and flexibility, increase range of motion and may even help toretrain the brain to transform pathological reflexes into functional, controlled movements.

The overall aim is to increase endurance, balance, and coordination and enhance the patient’s ability to perform fine motor and functional skills through adaptive techniques.

Recovery from spinal cord injuries is often slow patients may have to continue in therapy for a year or more. Perseverance and patience are essential components of all successful outcomes.

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