Home > Spinal Cord Injuries > How can occupational therapy help you after a spinal injury?

How can occupational therapy help you after a spinal injury?

Occupational therapy is one option for those who suffer back and spinal cord injuries. When you can’t function in your normal daily activities, the therapist can help you find a way to do so and work around issues that you can’t correct.

Occupational therapists assess the condition of your physical and cognitive skills. Once the state of your body can be understood, then the therapist can begin to work with you on how to live comfortably at home or how to work your job. These therapists may suggest medical equipment or assistive technology to help you. For instance, if you are paralyzed from the waist down, the therapist might help teach you to use your wheelchair and how to do your normal activities from that position.

Occupational therapists also help families and caregivers understand what they need to do and give them the support they need as they learn to work with their loved one. At home, that may mean helping families understand how to interact with someone with memory loss or how to aid a person learning to use a wheelchair.

It’s also the occupational therapist who will decide which kinds of medical equipment and modifications you need. They can provide psychosocial support to help you adapt to your new lifestyle, which can be beneficial if your spinal injury makes it impossible to return to work or hinders your typical activities. The importance of occupational therapy can’t be overlooked, and it should be considered in any settlement or negotiations you have after an accident. A good settlement will take the money you need for ongoing occupational therapy into account.

Source: CAOT, “Occupational Therapy and Spinal Cord Injury,” accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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