A spinal cord injury can produce major changes in your life. You need to learn how to adjust to these changes.
For example, a spinal cord injury may have negative effects on your health. According to the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, managing your health following a spinal cord injury can help you maintain a high quality of life and achieve your long-term goals. Here are some tips for managing your health following a spinal cord injury.
Have annual follow-up visits with your health care providers
After a spinal cord injury, you should make periodic visits to both your primary care provider and your spine specialist. Your spine specialist can help you manage unique medical issues related to your injury, while your primary care physician can provide basic health care services and watch for early signs of medical problems.
Research has shown that physical activity can benefit people who have had a spinal cord injury, including those who experience paralysis as a result. You may be able to find new ways to stay active, but you may also be able to modify activities that you enjoyed before the accident to continue them even in your current condition.
Learn your risks for secondary medical conditions
Secondary medical conditions are those that occur because of your injury but not as a direct result of it. For example, confinement to a wheelchair because of your SCI could put you at risk for pressure ulcers. You should learn the risks for secondary medical issues such as these, as well as how to avoid them if possible and treat them if necessary.
Everyone experiences changes in life, both positive and negative. All changes require adjustment, and managing your health helps give you the strength and energy, both physically and mentally, to face the challenges you face because of your injury and adjust to the change well.