Enhancing Quality of Life After A Spinal Cord Injury

The journey after a spinal cord injury is unique to everyone, and it is crucial to tailor my suggestions to your personal preferences and specific needs. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice. Throughout this blog, I will be providing a few tips on how to improve your quality of life after a spinal cord injury. I will cover the importance of adaptive equipment, along with the purpose of finding a good rehabilitation program, emotional support groups, physical activity, and a few other important areas that will help you get back to doing some of the things that you love.

Garrison Redd playing basketball

After suffering a spinal cord injury, it is very important to find a good medical care provider. Regarding your health, it is important to work closely with healthcare professionals, including physiatrists, physical therapists, and rehabilitation specialists. You also want to follow your personalized medical plan and attend regular appointments and check-ups. It is also very important that you manage secondary health issues, such as pressure sores, bladder and bowel incontinence or problems, and respiratory issues.

Finding good and adequate physical rehabilitation is also essential for your recovery. You want to engage in regular physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility. You should also explore adaptive physical activities such as wheelchair sports like basketball, tennis, adapted yoga and more.

Psychological support is just as important as finding an adequate rehab center. It is very important to seek counseling or therapy to address the emotional challenges and mental health concerns after a spinal cord injury. Join a peer support group or connect with others who have experienced similar injuries. You can also reach out to me; I manage and run two virtual spinal cord injury peer support groups, one a part of the Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury program or you can find out more about the Reeve Foundation's Peer & Family Support Group here. Finding coping mechanisms will also assist in your development of resilience.

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Depending on your injury level, assistive technology may assist you as well. It is always a good idea to explore and use assistive technologies to enhance your independence, such as voice-controlled devices, adaptive computer interfaces, and mobility aids. Try to stay up to date with the latest advancements in assistive technology.

One of the most important components of adjusting to living with a spinal cord injury is finding what works for you. Try to pursue educational and vocational opportunities to enhance your skills and employability. Also, explore adaptive technologies and workplace accommodations, along with advocating for equal opportunities in education and employment. Social support will be important as well in coping with your injury. Build a strong support network of friends, family, and peers. Participate in social activities and maintain social connections, along with addressing any feelings of isolation through community involvement.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and will take some of my tips into consideration. These tips are from personal experience. I am a T-12 paraplegic, and I have been injured for 18 years. Before I conclude the blog, I would like to inform all the readers out there to find ways to improve your health. Focus on maintaining overall health through a balanced diet and regular exercise. Manage weight and prevent secondary health issues. Avoid substance abuse and follow a healthy lifestyle. Explore adaptive recreational activities and hobbies. Finally, yet importantly, focus on activities that bring joy and fulfillment.

Improving the quality of life after a spinal cord injury is a continuous process that involves adaptation, resilience, and a proactive approach to physical and emotional well-being. Collaborating with a healthcare team, staying connected with supportive communities, and leveraging available resources are crucial steps in the journey.

About the Author - Garrison Redd

My name is Garrison Redd. I am a T-12 paraplegic born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Feel free to email me at garrisonredd36@gmail.com or message me on Instagram @garrisonredd.

Garrison Redd

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.