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  6.  — Long-term lifestyle changes after a spinal cord injury

Long-term lifestyle changes after a spinal cord injury

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can be a life-altering event, leading to significant changes in an individual’s lifestyle. The spinal cord is crucial for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body, so an injury to this vital pathway can result in diminished physical mobility and function.

The changes necessitated by a spinal cord injury are not just physical. The psychological and emotional impact can be equally profound, necessitating mental health support and adjustment to a new way of living.

Adjusting to physical changes

Depending on the severity and location of the injury, an individual may experience varying degrees of paralysis, affecting mobility and independence. Daily activities like eating, dressing, bathing and driving may require assistance or adaptive equipment.

Work and career modifications

A spinal cord injury may necessitate career path changes or workplace adaptations. Assistive technology can enable individuals to continue their existing jobs in some cases. Vocational rehabilitation services can assist with job training, job-seeking skills and employer education.

Emotional and psychological support

A spinal cord injury’s emotional and psychological impact can lead to grief, anger, frustration and depression. Mental health support, including counseling and support groups, is a crucial part of the recovery and adjustment process.

Maintaining social connections and hobbies

Staying socially connected and maintaining hobbies can help individuals with spinal cord injuries preserve their sense of self and well-being. Adaptive sports, for instance, offer a way for individuals to stay physically active and socially engaged.

While a spinal cord injury may necessitate reliance on others in various ways, it does not eliminate independence. Learning to navigate the world from a different physical perspective, employing assistive technology and discovering new ways to perform tasks can help individuals with SCI to maintain and regain their autonomy. Seeking compensation to cover expenses related to the injury is beneficial for victims.