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What can families do to help with physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?

What can families do to help with physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?

Elaine Rogers, PT

Physical Therapist, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle

Read Bio More Videos by Elaine Rogers
Transcript
Be present is the first thing and be supportive. They can watch what the therapist is doing with their loved one and ask if it’s okay for them to do stretching when they’re not in therapy-can they do strengthening-ask your therapist what ... Show More

Be present is the first thing and be supportive. They can watch what the therapist is doing with their loved one and ask if it’s okay for them to do stretching when they’re not in therapy-can they do strengthening-ask your therapist what you can do to help and what activities are ok to do outside of therapy. Sometimes you don’t want to do strengthening outside because it’s too much for that person, and they’ve already got worked out enough in physical therapy and they need to rest. Sometimes they may be able to do more if they have stronger muscles. The other piece is to watch how the therapist is backing off on how much help they’re giving someone so that person can learn how to do it on their own, and to support that person in learning to maximize their independence and their skills, and that’s probably the hardest part for families-is backing off on the help they’re giving people because they just want to be really supportive. But you can be more supportive by allowing them to do those things for themselves.

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What can families do to help with physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?

Elaine Rogers, PT

Physical Therapist, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle

More Videos by Elaine Rogers
Transcriptadd

Be present is the first thing and be supportive. They can watch what the therapist is doing with their loved one and ask if it’s okay for them to do stretching when they’re not in therapy-can they do strengthening-ask your therapist what you can do to help and what activities are ok to do outside of therapy. Sometimes you don’t want to do strengthening outside because it’s too much for that person, and they’ve already got worked out enough in physical therapy and they need to rest. Sometimes they may be able to do more if they have stronger muscles. The other piece is to watch how the therapist is backing off on how much help they’re giving someone so that person can learn how to do it on their own, and to support that person in learning to maximize their independence and their skills, and that’s probably the hardest part for families-is backing off on the help they’re giving people because they just want to be really supportive. But you can be more supportive by allowing them to do those things for themselves.

What can families do to help with physical therapy after a spinal cord injury?
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