5 Essential Daily Routines for SCI Survivors
After a spinal cord injury (SCI) that causes even partial paralysis, life is never the same. Many of the basic activities that most people take for granted will become more complicated than they were before.
Mason Ellis is all too familiar with how life changes following a spinal cord injury. To help other SCI survivors cope with their injuries and adapt to their new situation, Mason frequently uploads “how-to” and tip videos about dealing with common challenges.
In this video, Mason shares five essential daily routines that SCI survivors need to maintain, including:
- Catheterization Routines. When spinal injuries prevent instructions from the brain from reaching the bladder, catheters become a daily necessity. Mason shares his knowledge about three different kinds of catheter devices, and he recommends using intermittent catheters to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections since you change them out with each use.
- Bowel Programs. Just like with your bladder, SCI can prevent signals from the brain from reaching your bowels. To compensate, it’s important to establish a regular bowel program. There are many kinds of bowel programs, from manual removal, to digital stimulation, suppository, and mini-enemas. Whatever method you use, it’s important to establish and stick to a schedule.
- Exercise Routines. Maintaining an exercise routine is vital for staying healthy and active following a spinal cord injury. Daily activities that Mason recommends include arm and leg stretches. He also recommends engaging in strength training throughout the week. Exercise helps offset the inactivity that SCI forces on survivors, improving health and even helping with mood.
- Pressure Release. Sitting in the same position all of the time can cause sores and limit blood circulation. Taking a minute or two every half-hour to relieve the pressure by stretching or shifting position is crucial for preventing painful sores.
- Skin Checks. Mason recommends that you do skin checks every day to spot pressure sores. This way, you have a chance of spotting a pressure sore early and being able to stop it from getting worse.
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Spinal Cord Team