Personal Interviews About Life With Paralysis

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Q&A: What were the important milestones in rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation Progress After a Spinal Cord Injury
Personal Experiences with Paralysis

Q: What were the important milestones in rehabilitation? 

In 2020, the average length of stay in a post-hospital rehabilitation program for people with spinal cord injuries was 20 days, down from 90 days in 1970s. Rehabilitation begins with therapists creating a personal rehab program, with goals of maximizing physical function and community reintegration. Patients work with a team of experts made up of physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, social workers and vocational and recreational therapists.

During physical therapy sessions, patients focus on regaining strength and mobility through stretching and exercise. Occupational therapists teach patients how to navigate daily life in a wheelchair, practice grooming, cleaning, cooking, eating and other activities of daily life. Patients may also work with a psychologist, who helps them develop new coping skills. Social workers help patients prepare for a successful transition from hospital to home.

Rehabilitation is a process of achieving milestones that enable more strength, greater independence and a brighter outlook. We asked 100 men and women living with spinal cord injuries about the important milestones in their rehabilitation. Watch the best answers in the videos below.