Roughly 17,810 new spinal cord injuries occur every year in the United States, with males accounting for 78% of new cases. A spinal cord injury is a serious physical trauma that typically has severe and long-lasting impacts in all areas of life. For example, most people with these injuries experience diminished mobility and rely on assistive devices like wheelchairs or walkers. In more severe cases, people may even experience paralysis from the neck down. Spinal cord injuries also require intensive rehabilitation treatment and legal action to pursue financial compensation to cover the resulting expenses. However, many people are able to return to a high quality of living with the aid of physical therapy and assistive devices.
Regular exercise is essential for staying fit and healthy after a spinal cord injury. A physical therapist can help you improve mobility, restore lost function, and prevent any complications that can potentially occur years down the line. Physical therapy programs typically include a combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, mobility training, respiratory conditioning, and light stretching. During the first few stages of rehabilitation, you’ll mostly focus on maintaining and strengthening muscle function, improving fine motor skills, and practicing performing everyday activities. Additionally, you’ll be taught how to use modern technologies and devices to help you live as independently as possible.
Medical devices can help people with spinal cord injuries to live a more independent and mobile lifestyle at home and at work. For example, wheelchairs are now designed to be lighter and easy to maneuver; they can help people with spinal cord injuries move around in comfort. Electric wheelchairs can also help people to travel over rough ground, ascend stairs, and elevate to reach high places. Additionally, electronic devices can also aid everyday living. Voice recognition devices, for example, can be used to help people with limited hand function independently operate electronic devices via voice commands. Advanced software is able to learn the individual way each user talks in order to best optimize how the technology responds to their verbal commands and transcribes their speech.
Pursuing financial compensation
Spinal cord injuries can impact all aspects of life. In addition to emotional and physical pain, they also result in medical bills, expensive medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers and crutches), lost wages and time off work, rehabilitation appointments, physical therapy, and other expenses. In cases caused by the negligence of another party, a spinal injury lawyer can help injured people recover compensation to pay for these expenses and move forward with life. Spinal cord injury cases are complex, and an experienced lawyer can conduct a comprehensive investigation to find out and prove the negligence that resulted in the injury. With the right legal help, you have the best chances of a fair settlement.
Fortunately, it’s possible for many people to go on to live productive and satisfying lives after a spinal cord injury, which includes returning to your favorite hobbies, social and physical activities, and school or work. With physical therapy, assistive devices and legal help, people with spinal cord injuries can successfully enjoy a high quality of life.