Occupational Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury | Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital


Hi, I’m Rebecca. I’m an occupational therapist at Northern
Colorado Rehab Hospital. I’m gonna be talking to you today briefly
about occupational therapy, and the role that we have in treating spinal cord patients. So with rehab and occupational therapy, day
one we identify caregiver support, we start looking at what the home setup is like. The treatment might look a little bit different
depending on the nature of the injury, whether that is a complete spinal cord injury or incomplete. We look at kind of promoting and facilitating
what neurological functions are remaining, kind of really promoting what they have. And if the nature’s an incomplete injury, how can we modify their lifestyle so that they can get back to those daily routines; you know, being able to take care of themselves, get dressed, go to the bathroom, get around
their house. With physical therapy and respiratory therapy,
speech therapy, nursing, it’s a pretty big team approach where we all work together. We’re looking at, can they manage their own
bladder and bowel functions, how’s their breathing, do they need any supplemental oxygen, is their
swallowing okay? So we’re kind of looking at the individual
as a whole and seeing where we can help out. One cool thing that we do here, we get what
they call an ATP, so an Assisted Technology Professional in pretty soon, within the first
couple of days. We get that individual with the injury the
appropriate equipment, like if they need a power wheelchair, or a special wheelchair
with seating that kind of relieves pressure so they get that experience with a device
that they will go home with. It’s kind of a unique approach, we try to
get everything set up early on so that they can actually go home with us during their
therapy. We’ll do a home evaluation, really involve
the caregivers, ’cause chances are these folks are going to need some help going home. So the big goal of rehab is to get the patient
as independent as possible and back to their daily life, daily routines. We work very hard to try to give them some
exercise programs that they can do going home, that their caregivers can do. The next step after they go home is generally
home health therapy, where that kind of continues the rehab process. And then ultimately we’d love to see these
patients back in our facility, or an outpatient facility so they can kind of even continue that growth. So, if you’re interested in any more information,
you can visit our website or stop in our facility at the front desk, and tours are available
whenever during the day.

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