Living Well After A Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries can have a profound impact on your lifestyle. Since the spinal cord is integral to most of your major body systems, things that you once took for granted might not be as simple as they once were. Typical body functions and even general movements can become quite difficult.

To adapt to these changing conditions in your life, it's important to understand what areas of your life might be affected. Consider consulting with someone at a place like Edward J. Achrem & Associates, Ltd. Then, you can make the required changes to thrive in your new condition.

Body Fitness

Because spinal injuries can make movement difficult, it's typical for victims to suffer from decreased muscle tone and overall fitness. That makes it important for you to develop new ways to keep your body in shape. Otherwise, mobility could become an even larger issue in the future.

Fortunately, there are a number of exercises that can be done from a seated position. These include:

  • Bicep curls
  • Shoulder presses
  • Chest flys
  • Calf raises

By strengthening the muscles in your extremities, you can help maintain your overall muscle tone--even when you cannot train your core and legs due to your spinal cord injury. This will help maintain your metabolism and also facilitate your rehabilitation efforts.

Bladder and Bowel Function

The spinal cord is a key component in the regulation of automatic body systems. When it becomes damaged, automatic activities could stop being as reliable. This includes going to the bathroom easily and on command.

Adequate water intake and diets that are high in fiber can help with this. Also, you might need to reconfigure your living space to keep resting areas and beds close to a bathroom. By managing your diet and your habits, you can make it easier on yourself during your transition back to full functioning.

General Pain

Spinal cord injuries are uncomfortable. They can cause persistent pain in a wide variety of locations throughout your body. Since pain medications are often a serious class of drug with any number of side effects, it's important to develop natural means to help with pain management.

Specialized mattresses and chairs can help reduce pain caused by your daily routine. A chiropractor is also a great tool in the fight against chronic pain caused by spinal injury. However, always consult with your physician before working with any additional medical professional while experiencing a spinal cord issue.

Your spinal cord injury will have a serious impact on your life. That said, these steps can help make some of the more severe lifestyle changes easier to navigate.