Spinal Injury Care

Sustaining a spinal injury is life changing. It requires significant physical, emotional and social adjustment by the injured person, their family and their friends.

Roles and responsibilities will need to be redefined. Returning home from hospital is likely to be accompanied by a mixture of anticipation, uncertainty and anxiety about the future. We understand these challenges and can provide care and support to help you and your family through the difficult times.

What is a spinal injury?

Spinal injury refers to damage of the spinal cord either from a traumatic injury such as an accident, or a non-traumatic injury such as a tumour, blood clot or haemorrhage.

The spinal cord contains the vital nerve cells that transmit messages from the brain to the muscles, skin and other organs of the body. These cells also transmit sensations from the body to the brain, for example temperature, texture, pain, etc. A person with a spinal injury will experience a loss of movement and sensation below the point of the injury.

Common symptoms and risks

The extent and duration of this loss will depend upon the nature of the injury. If there is partial damage, some sensation and movement will return, but this could take up to two years. Where the damage is total, the loss of function  is likely to be permanent.

Paralysis and loss of feeling increase the risks of:

  • Pressure sores

  • Hypothermia (lowered body temperature) and hyperthermia (raised body temperature) because the body is unable to sweat

  • Stroke from sudden surges in blood pressure

  • Injury from uncontrolled muscle spasms

Support to stay well

We will create a specialised care plan with you that focuses on realistic goals you wish to achieve. This might include:

  • Reminding or helping you to take your medicines to manage your symptoms

  • A good morning start to the day, bathing and dressing to keep you looking your best

  • Catheter care  and continence management to maintain your dignity and comfort

  • Making sure you have plenty of fluids and a balanced diet with enough fresh fruit and vegetables and fibre to keep you healthy and avoid constipation

  • Assisting with routine household chores and shopping so your home life is as you would like it to be

  • Emotional or social support to keep you connected to the people who are important to you

  • Support with rehabilitation to get back to a normal life and independence

Further information and support is available from the Spinal Injuries Association.

Contact us to discuss a spinal injuries care and support service for you.