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Spinal cord injuries prevent nerve signals (messages) from traveling to and from the brain. Injuries can be caused by numerous things, including vehicle accidents, violence, falls or a disease or disorder. The spinal cord injury can cause damage from loss of sensation below the level of the injury to paralysis, depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury.
Spinal chord injury rehabilitation includes physical and occupational therapy, along with emotional support. An occupational therapist evaluates the injured person's ability and level of functioning, how motivated the injured person is to participate in activities that he or she participated in prior to the injury and identifies changes in roles the injured person may experience due to the spinal cord injury.
Occupational therapy as part of spinal cord injury rehabilitation also provides individualized therapy to help the injured person perform activities of daily living. Adaptive techniques, if needed, are taught so the person can perform his or her daily living skills.
Part of rehabilitation and occupational therapy that crosses over to psychological therapy is helping the injured person cope with the effects of the spinal cord injury. In addition to working with the emotional aftermath of the spinal cord injury, the rehabilitative process implements exercises to strengthen muscles used in eating, dressing, and other home self care tasks.