Being wheelchair bound with restricted movement can be the most frustrating phase of a trauma patient’s life. But, you do not have to surrender meekly to this condition.. Here are five popular therapies to ditch that wheelchair, fight through and regain control your life.
1. Core Strengthening and Stability
The concept of core strengthening is similar to the idea of creating a strong structure for the building to withstand daily wear and tear. Physical therapy has recently progressed into core strengthening and stability training as an option for post trauma rehabilitation. Just as a building with a weak structure cannot withstand major blows, if your body is weak then you are susceptible to acute injuries and chronic overuse syndromes. The post operative exercise should always be a guided effort under the supervision or instruction of a physical therapist.
2. Kinesio Taping Therapy
Kinesio taping therapy is a relatively newer treatment option which involves sticking an elastic cotton strip to the affected body parts with the help of an acrylic adhesive. The tape is said to be up to 140% stretchable of its original length and hence it is applied on an area greater than its length to successfully create a pulling action. The tapes imitate our skin, displaying elastic properties equivalent to the epidermis. Results are dependent on how the tape is applied, characterised by direction of pull, the shape and the location. Amongst several benefits provided by Kinesio Taping, the most prominent ones are facilitating joint motion and correcting the alignment of weak muscles.
3. Ice and Heat Application
Though primarily used in immediate treatment of physical injuries, this technique is also used in the later stages of rehabilitation program for faster recovery. The ice and heat techniques are used to improve blood flow to certain parts of the body which in turn affect movement. It is also used as a great option to aid the recovery process by restoring normal function. The effects of this treatment enhance the results of other treatments such as exercise by reducing strain, pain and muscle spasm. When performing exercise, it is often advised to apply an ice pack to that area to make it numb before exercising to suppress pain. Exercises can also be performed with the ice pack in place, which makes movement around the injury more comfortable.
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves between 800,000 Hz and 2,000,000 Hz which is inaudible to humans which stimulates the tissues beneath the skin. The ultrasound therapy makes use of the transducer or applicator to directly inject the ultrasonic waves in the patient’s skin. Maximum energy absorption takes place in the soft tissue from 2 to 5 cm, decreasing as the waves travel deeper and deeper into the skin. They are primarily absorbed by the connective tissue of ligaments, tendons and fascia. Therapeutic Ultrasound is principally used in the treatment of Tendonitis, muscle sprains, metatarsalgia, bursitis and more.
5. Electrical Stimulation
The electrical stimulation therapy employs electrical currents to stimulate the cells of an affected area. Electrical stimulation or e-stim is conducted with the help of a specialised machine and an electrical pad that directs this current into the area being treated. The aim of electrical stimulation is to alter the nerve conduction of the affected region and alter muscle contractility. This therapy is commonly used for healing tendon and ligament injuries, increasing muscle contraction and more.
Thorough evaluation is recommended, before you zero down on one of these recovery procedures. Take help of your therapist to guide you through the selection process, depending on the type of recovery you have been through.
There are three main types of topical cues that are used when rehabbing a patient with a brain or spinal injury. They are visual cueing, verbal cueing and physical cueing. By implementing these techniques you may find that you are able to increase your active mobility. We will post a more detailed blog post outlining this and how each of these types of cues work.