Research Shows Importance Of Health Behaviours And Management For Spinal Cord Injuries

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The Law Of... recovering from a spinal cord injury

A series of studies conducted by the University of Michigan have highlighted the importance of health behaviours and the management of symptoms for those who are recovering from a spinal cord injury.

The Law Of... recovering from a spinal cord injury

Examining the studies, David Erwin – Partner in Serious Personal Injury at Simpson Millar – explains the long and arduous road to recovery that faces those who have suffered a life-changing affliction.

Managing Symptoms

Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, the publication that featured the studies, looks to inspire medical professionals working with the condition, while educating patients that are affected by the condition.

In the two issues pertaining to health behaviours and management, the University have looked at the challenges faced by those afflicted by a spinal cord injury.

Aiming to highlight the strategies patients have to employ to manage their symptoms, the first issue looked at:

  1. The use of medical cannabis for managing back pain
  2. How sufferers interacted with existing healthcare systems
  3. Self-care measures
  4. Some of the physical barriers to employment after an injury
  5. New interventions for family members of those injured

Health Behaviours

In a more recent study, researchers looked to build on the work of the previous instalment by focussing on behaviours of patients recovering from a back injury.

This study concluded that the correct management of a patient's physical and psychological health is crucial to rehabilitation.

The four topics covered in the second issue include:

  1. The management of bowel and bladder dysfunction
  2. Personal resilience
  3. The impact of psychological health management on employment
  4. Self-management programs

Need For Further Research

During their studies, researchers at the University found that the most striking effect of the injury is within the daily tasks, as patients take drastic steps to get by and manage their wellbeing on a daily basis.

Both studies published in Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation pointed to the need for proactive health management of patients. Researchers at the University expressed their desire to see more studies conducted for the benefit of those who have suffer from paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Commenting on the studies, David Erwin said:

"It is always interesting to read of innovations in the treatment of these conditions, in particular those aimed at helping the injured person to retain as much of their independence as possible."

"The debilitating nature of spinal cord injuries means that many sufferers struggle to manage their daily health and this research suggests that further research is required to fully understand the nature of the rehabilitation process."

"These sorts of studies can go a long way to improving the rehabilitation process for patients and can help to educate those who are affected by such catastrophic injuries."


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