When it comes to catastrophic injuries, spinal cord injuries can completely alter your way of life. Often, spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis. Fortunately, researchers have introduced new treatments and technologies for spinal cord injuries.
Mayo Clinic explains how technology can improve your life if you have a spinal cord injury.
The long-term impact of spinal cord injuries
If you suffer a spinal cord injury, physicians cannot reverse it. Treatment does not focus on reversing the injury but on preventing more injuries and aiding you in becoming more independent or active. Initial treatment occurs at the hospital, usually in the ICU. Then, after a period of hospitalization, you may begin rehabilitation. This could occur in an in-patient facility or an out-patient facility.
The effects of technology on treatment
As medical technology continues to advance, medical devices become more apt at improving a patient’s ability to remain independent or to have mobility. Even modern wheelchairs have become more lightweight. Some modern wheelchairs can perform the following functions:
- Raise a person to reach higher places
- Climb stairs for a passenger
- Travel comfortably over rough terrain
Electric wheelchairs can assist patients who may not be able to use manual chairs.
Other technologies include electronic aids that can control devices. For instance, you could turn your lights off and on through a switch or a voice-activated remote. Electrical stimulation devices can control arm or leg muscles to allow patients to reach for items, grip items or even to stand and walk. Technology such as robotic gait training can even help retrain a person to walk again.