Eating a healthy diet can help you reduce your risk of some complications
and can make other tasks, such as bowel management, easier. And it can help you reach and stay at a
healthy weight. Being either underweight or overweight increases your risk of
If you have
special nutritional needs, such as needing extra protein or fiber, a registered dietitian can help you plan a diet.
For more information on a healthy diet and
Mobility is an important aspect of a spinal cord injury. Mobility devices, such as crutches,
walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters, can help you be more independent. They may
allow you to work, shop, travel, or take part in sports.
Moving from a wheelchair to
another location is known as a transfer. Your injury and strength will determine
what type of transfer you can do. You may be able to do it yourself, or you may
need help. There are some important things to know for safe transfers, such as to lock your wheelchair and make the
distance between the transfer surfaces as small as possible.
Adapting your home
As your rehab ends, you and
your loved ones need to start thinking about what you need to do when you are
at home. Because you may have to use a wheelchair (lowering your height) and
have limited movement and feeling, you may have to adapt your home.
Considerations for adapting your home include ramps
and widened doorways, special utensils for eating, and special devices for
dressing and grooming.
Thinking of the future
Today, with improved medical care and support, the outlook for people with SCIs
is better than ever. In many cases, 1 year after the injury,
life expectancy is close to that of a person without an SCI.2
If you are planning to work, you have the same
legal rights as before your injury. People with spinal cord injuries who want
to work are legally protected from discrimination by the Americans with
Plan ahead for possible serious and
life-threatening complications. You, your family, and your doctor should
discuss what types of medical treatment you want if you have a sudden, life-threatening
problem. You may want to create an
advance directive to state your wishes if you become
unable to communicate.
For more information, see: