A Guide to Full Recovery From a Spinal Injury

neck pain

An injured spinal cord could cause a lifetime of suffering to people unfortunate enough to be involved in a slip-and-fall accident or a road collision. That’s because it’s one of the most sensitive parts of the body that helps facilitate muscle and nerve function. Severe impacts could cause permanent disability and disrupt neurological processes.

The good news is that not all spinal injuries lead to such complications. Count yourself as lucky if you survived a car crash with back injuries. However, the recovery period could take more than six months throughout which you will experience limited mobility and an extended hospital stay. It’s possible to shorten the recovery period so long as you follow your doctor’s orders and focus on the right approaches.

1. Adopt a spine-friendly diet

An extended rest should accompany meal plans specifically to promote spinal recovery. Your food should be rich in vitamins and minerals that will help restore your health, particularly calcium and magnesium which are vital for treating secondary spinal damage and supplying you with the energy you need to restore mobility. Opt for spinach in your diet and foods rich in Vitamin C and B-Complex. If your spinal injury causes difficult bowel movements, you may be advised to consume plenty of fiber-rich foods. 

Excessive sodium in your diet may cause water retention and may exacerbate swelling and inflammation. Avoid highly processed foods, canned soups, fast food, and other sources of high sodium. Moreover, reduce alcohol consumption as it can interfere with medications, impair judgment, and potentially worsen symptoms. While moderate caffeine consumption is safe, too much intake can interfere with sleep and exacerbate symptoms like muscle spasms or anxiety.

2. Stay active even when bed-ridden

If your injury doesn’t impede upper body movements, consider doing simple stretches in bed. Lying down during long periods could lead to muscle strain and result in poor circulation which could slow down the recovery process. So long as you’re fit enough to move your limbs, go for a daily range of motion exercises that promote flexibility and improve blood flow. 

As you regain your ability to move the other parts of your body, go for more intensive exercises and frequent walks. You will be able to achieve full control of your movements in time. However, if you have a more serious spinal injury that requires surgery, you could be taken to a subacute care facility for closer monitoring. 

A neurosurgeon or spine surgeon can diagnose and recommend the appropriate treatment for your spinal injury. They will assess your condition through various tests such as imaging scans and physical examinations to evaluate the extent of the injury and the best course of action. They will discuss the procedure with you if surgery is necessary and answer any questions or concerns.  

3. Try doing household tasks on your own

Once you have been discharged from the hospital, it’s never good to assume the recovery period ends there. Spinal injuries may remain for a few more months, so expect the rehabilitation period to extend toward your homestay. At this point, you and your in-house caregiver may follow an occupational therapy routine. This will gradually reintegrate you into daily living so you won’t have to rely on assistive facilities.

When you’re looking for an in-home caregiver, it’s essential to start by thinking about what you need. What kind of assistance do you require? Once you’ve figured that out, you can start checking out caregiver agencies in your area. Conduct interviews with potential caregivers, considering qualifications and compatibility.

4. Attend regular checkups and counseling

Your medical specialist will most likely recommend follow-up checkups in the years following your injury. Complications may still arise even if you think you’ve regained muscle functioning. Detecting these earlier will help determine if there’s any need for another surgery. 

Leaving it alone will cause the injury to resurface and result in another body with pain and mobility problems. No matter how fast you’ve recovered from a spinal injury, never skip your follow-up checkups and counseling sessions with your doctor. It’s important to keep tabs on your health by checking if there’s any sudden numbness or swelling in the area of injury on your back.

Consider what you hope to achieve through therapy and what specific concerns or issues you want to address. Many counselors offer free initial consultations or phone calls where you can discuss your needs and see if you feel comfortable working with them.


An injured spine won’t lead to prolonged paralysis. Most cases recover faster with the right interventions. If you’ve ever experienced the same, use this guide and stay hopeful and you will live normally again.