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What are the typical goals of physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?

What are the typical goals of physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?

Isa McClure, MAPT

Physical Therapist, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, New Jersey

Read Bio More Videos by Isa McClure
Transcript
Psychical therapy goals for someone who has a spinal cord injury really vary on the level of the injury. Injuries are technically classified as paraplegia or quadriplegia which you also sometimes hear described as tetraplegia. So someone who has the ... Show More

Psychical therapy goals for someone who has a spinal cord injury really vary on the level of the injury. Injuries are technically classified as paraplegia or quadriplegia which you also sometimes hear described as tetraplegia. So someone who has the tetrapoligic or quadriplegic injury, that means that there is some weakness or profound weakness in the arms and in the legs. For someone who has paraplegia there is weakness in the legs. For people who have quadriplegia what we can do is we can teach people to use their hands in some cases to work on those basic skills like getting dressed, feeing themselves and that’s where we assist our occupational therapy counterparts.  We work together in teams in order to make someone functioanl as independent as possible.  If someone has a paraplegic injury where they have full use of their hands and their arms, again depending on the level of the injury, sometimes we can teach those people how to walk again. Sometimes they’re going to be primarily wheelchair users, and in those cases we’ll teach them how to be as independent as possible in the wheelchair, including being able to navigate the world, which is not a level-flat surface like you’ll see in the hospital.  But it can be a very bumpy road so being able to perform skills like wheelies, and going up and down the stairs in a chair and those kind of skills are things we would focus on.

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What are the typical goals of physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?

Isa McClure, MAPT

Physical Therapist, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, New Jersey

More Videos by Isa McClure
Transcriptadd

Psychical therapy goals for someone who has a spinal cord injury really vary on the level of the injury. Injuries are technically classified as paraplegia or quadriplegia which you also sometimes hear described as tetraplegia. So someone who has the tetrapoligic or quadriplegic injury, that means that there is some weakness or profound weakness in the arms and in the legs. For someone who has paraplegia there is weakness in the legs. For people who have quadriplegia what we can do is we can teach people to use their hands in some cases to work on those basic skills like getting dressed, feeing themselves and that’s where we assist our occupational therapy counterparts.  We work together in teams in order to make someone functioanl as independent as possible.  If someone has a paraplegic injury where they have full use of their hands and their arms, again depending on the level of the injury, sometimes we can teach those people how to walk again. Sometimes they’re going to be primarily wheelchair users, and in those cases we’ll teach them how to be as independent as possible in the wheelchair, including being able to navigate the world, which is not a level-flat surface like you’ll see in the hospital.  But it can be a very bumpy road so being able to perform skills like wheelies, and going up and down the stairs in a chair and those kind of skills are things we would focus on.

What are the typical goals of physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?
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