Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves, carrying messages to and from the brain to the rest of the body. These assist in voluntary movements and feelings of the body, and control vital functions like bladder and bowel control, breathing, heart rate.
When the spinal cord is damaged communication between the body and brain is disrupted. Damage to the spinal cord can be as a result of trauma, infection or disease such as Polio, Spina Bifida or Transverse Myelitis.
Once there is damage to the spinal cord, there will be partial or complete loss of movement and sensation, depending on the severity of the injury.
Paraplegia is when the legs and lower trunk are affected by an injury to the lower spinal cord.
Tetraplegia is when all four limbs are affected by a spinal cord injury to the neck area. The chest and stomach muscles may also be affected.
Depending on the level of injury, and the amount of damage, symptoms can include:
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of mobility or balance leading to loss of function
- Poor posture
- Problems with ability to breathe
Physiotherapy should be focused to the individual’s problems and can include:
- Maintaining muscle strength and length
- Control muscle spasms
- improve balance and posture
- improve functional activities such as transferring, standing and/or walking
- maximise independence
Physiotherapists may also be able to advise on specialised equipment such as:
Indego Exoskeleton Trial at Our Clinic
In the summer of 2016 we were invited to the UK launch of the Indego Exoskeleton, supplied by Parker Hannifin and distributed by Anatomical Concepts in the UK.
Later in the year the Indego was showcased in clinics across the UK and offering trials of the exoskeleton.
Neuro Physio Wales became the first clinic in Wales to trial the Indego, Henry and Steve were given the opportunity to trial the exoskeleton here.