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Therapies to Improve Bowel Function in Spinal Injury Patients

Slip and/or fall accidents can cause serious injuries and result in long-term disability to a person’s life.  Spinal injuries are often the result of fall accidents.  A fall does not have to occur from an elevation for the person to suffer a spinal injury. Even a fall from a low height, like a few stairs, can result in an injury that is serious enough to result in lifelong consequences.

Reduced bowel function is just one of the many consequences of a spinal injury. New studies find that physical interventions that include walking with the help of exoskeleton devices can actually enhance bowel function in these patients.

An exoskeleton is an external device, that is worn by a spinal injury patient who has limited mobility as a result of his injury. The device works like a scaffolding of sorts to hold the patient up. It can help the person walk and stand independently without support. Exoskeleton devices have been found to be of great help to spinal injury patients who are suffering from some degree of paralysis and cannot walk or stand without support.

Recent studies have found, however, that exoskeleton systems can help aid other bodily functions as well.  According to the researchers, approximately 1/3rd of men who suffer a spinal injury, also complain of bowel and bladder dysfunction. Constipation or incontinence after a spinal injury is very common. It causes severe frustration to patients, and also leads to a marked loss in the quality of their lives.

Managing symptoms of bowel function is not easy. Traditional methods have always focused on efforts that directly target the gastrointestinal system to enhance bowel function. However, new studies have found that physical interventions, including physical activity using an exoskeleton, like standing upright or walking  may be more beneficial in encouraging regular evacuation. By wearing an exoskeleton, a person may be able to walk for some periods of time, possibly aiding the function of the digestive system. The researchers believe that the exoskeleton system can be used in conjunction with other approaches for the treatment of bowel dysfunction, in order to treat and manage these symptoms more efficiently.

A person with a spinal injury suffers a number of symptoms that markedly reduce the quality of his life.  Apart from bowel and bladder dysfunction, patients may suffer from impaired mobility and movement, and in the case of serious spinal injuries, even various degrees of paralysis. The patient may no longer be able to walk or stand without support, and he may no longer be able to perform any of the routine activities that he used to before the injury. A person’s ability to work and earn income may also be severely diminished.

If your loved one has suffered a spinal injury as a result of a fall accident, it is important to talk to an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer to determine if your loved one has options for a claim for damages.  A claim may help recover compensation for medical expenses, including hospitalization, medication, rehabilitation, therapy and other expenses. You may also be able to recover damages for additional aids, or systems that can help make your loved one’s life post a spinal injury, easier.

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