The internet can be a gift and a curse at the same time. It offers the potential of providing people with some very valuable information, but also allows for a lot of misconstrued and ill-informed ideas. This has created quite a large amount of confusion and that can be very dangerous for those seeking medical advice.
With the many assumptions that have been made about those who have experienced spinal cord injuries, it is extremely important that these ideas aren’t interpreted as facts. Families who are now learning to cope with SCI already have a lot to consider and do not need these false claims guiding them down the wrong path.
Common Spinal Cord Injury Myths To Be Aware Of
If you are young, rehabilitation is easier.
Each person’s situation is different when it comes to SCI. The rehabilitation process depends on the person’s injury, the type of support they are given during recovery, along with other individual factors in the person’s life. Age doesn’t define what each individual's experience is when it comes to an injury such as this.
SCI means you will never be able to move again.
This is another myth that does not allow for the fact that every person’s injury and recovery results are different. It is true that most people with SCI experience some loss of sensory and motor function, but the levels of disability vary greatly.
People with SCI cannot have children.
This is not the case. Many people with SCI can and have had children. This type of injury can cause serious complications for women, but this does not mean they are unable to carry and care for a child. Males with SCI may have “more sperm that do not move properly”, but these individuals “are often capable of becoming biological fathers through the use of assisted reproductive technologies.”
Most spinal cord injuries are caused by falls.
The order of the most common causes of SCI goes from -- motor vehicle accidents, to gunshot wounds, falls is third, and finally sports or recreational accidents.
SCI mean that you are no longer able to work a job.
Most people do return to work within 1 year of the injury. A good amount of these people remain at the same job, but some do have to make minor adjustments. However, this does not mean that working is no longer a possibility and occupational therapists are available to provide these individuals with help finding their new path if and when it is necessary.
Attitude makes no difference when it comes to rehabilitation.
Well, of course it makes a difference. A positive attitude influences the drive and motivation it takes to carry a person through and achieve the highest level of independence they can. This can potentially even lead to full recovery of physical function with the right amount of dedication and quality treatment.
Families are not able to do much when it comes to supporting someone with SCI.
A person’s recovery depends a great deal on the support of their loved ones. Family should get involved in treatment as soon as possible since they will play even larger roles once the person has moved out of the hospital.
Physical therapists are able to predict a person’s progress.
Once again, each person’s rehabilitation process will depend on many different variables throughout, making the outcome impossible to predict. It is important to remember that, no matter what, there is always room for hope and what you should be focusing on is taking your days one at a time.
What Does All Of This Mean?
When it comes to learning about your loved one’s condition, talk to their doctors and people that you know you can trust. In order to get the most accurate information you must go straight to the source. It is too easy to get caught up in made up stories and projected speculations based on the fears of others.
Do not allow yourself to be mislead in this way -- your state of mind is way too important at this time. With the right facts and the knowledge of professionals, you can give your loved one the help that they require to head down the most productive path toward recovery.