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Spinal Cord Therapy

BackBoneHeadBackBoneHead Member Posts: 2
Photogenic First Comment
Hi Nurse Linda -- I've been working hard for a year at recovery from my SCI. I've made pretty good progress with physical therapy, but I'm wondering if there's any kind of "spinal cord therapy" I could also be doing. My cord was very badly bruised, so I have a good chance to get most, if not all function back. Just wondering what I could be doing to help my spinal cord heal better, if anything. Let me know if you need more info. Thanks in advance.
Be Nicer. Be Smarter. And, Always Follow Your Bliss.

Best Answers

  • BackBoneHeadBackBoneHead Member Posts: 2
    Photogenic First Comment
    Accepted Answer
    Thanks Nurse Linda. Are there supplements, stimulation, or other treatments that can help the spinal cord heal?
    Be Nicer. Be Smarter. And, Always Follow Your Bliss.
  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 108 Information Specialist
    25 Likes 10 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    Accepted Answer
    Hello, BackBoneHead, there are some studies in rats with spinal cord injury that suggests creatine has some influence on rats. The big issue is that the effect is not known in humans not is the dosage. It may help but if the incorrect dosage is given, it could harm. These studies are few but they are out there. It is too early to tell. Here are a couple of references for your review.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alexander_Rabchevsky/publication/10621180_Creatine_Diet_Supplement_for_Spinal_Cord_Injury_Influences_on_Functional_Recovery_and_Tissue_Sparing_in_Rats/links/00b7d5260b72b56731000000.pdf

    https://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(02)92313-0/fulltext

    Functional electrical stimulation has been demonstrated to help. It is costly and you have to really work with your payor to try for approval. If there is a location near where you live, you can use your two weeks per year of mobility training that is included in most policies, to learn how to use the equipment. After that, you might be able to use the facilities equipment for a small fee or try to get it in your own home. The therapy needs to be done long term. Two weeks will just be for education. There is evidence (research) that this is effective. This is what Christopher Reeve used in his recovery with striking results. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

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Answers

  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 108 Information Specialist
    25 Likes 10 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    Hi, BackBoneHead, You pose a great question that is of interest to many. The body still works below the level of the injury, it is just not getting messages back and forth from the brain. Moving your body below the level of injury creates a message to the brain. You can move your body passively by moving it with your hands or having someone else move it for you. At the same time, think about what is happening to your body and direct it to move with your brain. For example, while moving your ankle, think about your ankle moving. Messages are being sent up to your brain while messages are being sent to your ankle. Both messages are being interfered at that spinal cord injury but the cord is still connected so eventually, the goal is to make that re-connection either through the regular pathway or from a close by connection that is functioning. The brain will then re-map the route for task completion.
    Another alternative is to provide movement through Functional Electrical Stimulation which is much more intense. Here, too, you need to be thinking about what is happening to your body at the same time. 
    The body is always working to heal itself. You need to harness this phenomena and push it along. Sometimes it works faster than other times. But some people do see recovery in various ways years after spinal cord injury. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

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