The number of people with SCI living in the United States is currently estimated to be approximately 288,000 persons. A recent study showed that the number of SCI cases is increasing by about 17,700 nationwide each year.
SCIs remain relatively rare occurrences nationwide as well as in Kansas City. As a result, many individuals do not understand basic facts about SCIs and may fall from some of the myths that surround these injuries. This is unfortunate because SCI survivors and their families are already struggling to cope with a major life-changing event. The last thing they need is false information that may lead them down the wrong path.
To clear the record and dispel these myths, below are seven of the most common SCI myths and facts to disprove them.
7 Myths About Spinal Cord Injuries
1. Spinal cord injuries are untreatable, regardless of what insurance you have.
Proper medical care and rehabilitation is critical to one’s quality of life after a spinal cord injury, and access to proper health insurance and other financial resources can significantly impact one’s recovery.
In addition to specialized, multi-disciplinary medical care and physical and occupational therapy, those with SCIs may need wheelchairs, lift systems, ramps and bathroom equipment – among other support systems – so they can continue to recover at home.
All of this costs money, and the amount needed generally will increase over the course of one’s lifetime.
2. Progress in rehabilitation depends on one’s age.
Every spinal cord injury is different, and your ability to experience progress through rehabilitation depends on many factors, including the type and severity of the injury, the medical care available, the social support provided, and many other personal variables. However, your age does not determine your destiny, and many SCI victims who are older experience great progress with rehabilitation.
3. All spinal cord injury victims experience permanent, total paralysis.
Again, every SCI is different, and every SCI survivor has a unique story and road to maximum recovery. While SCI survivors often suffer from a loss in mobility or sensory function, there is a wide spectrum in the levels of impairment.
4. Most spinal cord injuries are caused by sports injuries.
This myth may be due to the focus in the media on sport-related injuries and trauma. However, the leading causes of SCIs since from 2015 to 2018 are:
- Car Accidents (38.3%)
- Falls (31.6%)
- Violent Acts (13.8%)
- Sports (8.2%)
- Medical/Surgical (4.6%)
- Other (3.5%)
5. Physical therapists can predict the level of a patient’s recovery.
Physical therapists cannot predict the future. No one can. They should be able to identify the progress they see firsthand, but one’s rehabilitation rarely moves in a straight line. There are too many variables and circumstances can always change. However, they can guide you on the road to the best outcome and provide encouragement and hope.
6. Attitude makes no difference when it comes to rehabilitation.
As with anything in life, a positive mental attitude makes all the difference. A positive motivation, determination and grit are the driving force behind the daily actions one takes. It provides an inner strength that empowers one to embrace the challenges ahead and take small steps to make progress and achieve maximum function and independence.
7. Progress in rehabilitation depends solely on the individual.
A person’s recovery depends on a number of factors, but social and familial support play an important role. They can help the SCI survivor maintain the positive mindset and provide encouragement, accountability and assistance. After the SCI survivor leaves the hospital or begins rehabilitation at home, the role of loved ones and family will only increase.
Still Have Questions? Contact Our Kansas City Spinal Cord Attorney.
Spinal cord injuries are complex conditions, and each injury is unique. As a result, do not fall into the trap of comparing another person’s injury, outcome or circumstances to that of your own or your loved one. Instead, listen to the experts and those who you trust, including treating doctors and therapists.
If you have questions about the legal aspects of a spinal cord injury and whether a right to compensation exists, contact our Kansas City spinal cord injury attorney. Our law firm has helped many individuals recover compensation so they can have the treatment and support they need.
We would be happy to provide a free, no obligation consultation and answer your questions. Just call (816) 203-0143 or fill out the form below.