It is no secret that a spinal cord injury can instantly change your life. For many people, the biggest fear after a spinal cord injury is not being able to live an everyday life anymore. However, thanks to advances in medical technology and rehabilitation therapies, Nurse Practitioners like Theresa Pileggi in Chester, PA, know this is no longer the case for most people.
Preventive health care is one of the most important aspects of living a whole and healthy life after a spinal cord injury. This article will discuss some of the best ways to stay healthy and prevent illness after a spinal cord injury.
Stay Physically Active
Maintaining a physically active lifestyle is vital for everyone, but it is especially crucial for those who have suffered a spinal cord injury. Inactivity can lead to many health problems, including muscle atrophy, joint stiffness, and pressure sores. Furthermore, it can make it more difficult to regain mobility after an injury.
Theresa Pileggi says regular exercise helps keep the muscles strong and the joints mobile, improving the chances of a successful recovery. In addition, physical activity releases endorphins, which can help to improve mood and outlook. For these reasons, those with spinal cord injuries must stay as physically active as possible.
There are several ways to stay active after a spinal cord injury. Physical therapy is one option, and many hospitals offer rehabilitation programs specifically designed for those with spinal cord injuries. People with limited mobility can adapt exercise equipment such as stationary bikes and treadmills. Swimming is an excellent low-impact activity that provides a full-body workout. Whatever form it takes, physical activity is an integral part of life for anyone with a spinal cord injury.
Keep A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is vital for everyone, but it is especially crucial for those with spinal cord injuries. Inactivity can lead to weight gain, which can strain the spine and increase the risk of pressure sores. Furthermore, obesity increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
There are several ways to maintain a healthy diet after a spinal cord injury. Eating frequent small meals instead of three large ones can help to control weight gain. Avoiding processed foods and eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. It is also essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.
A healthy diet consists of more than just the food you eat. It also includes portion control and making sure you are eating at regular intervals throughout the day. For these reasons, those with spinal cord injuries must maintain a healthy diet.
Manage Stress Levels
Theresa Pileggi says stress is a normal part of life but can harm physical and mental health. Chronic stress has been linked to several health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety. It can also make it more challenging to manage pain and interfere with healing.
Various factors cause stress, and it can be difficult to avoid entirely. However, there are many ways to manage stress levels and keep them from getting out of control. Exercise, relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, and spending time with friends or family can all help to reduce stress. In addition, talking to a counselor or therapist can be helpful for some people.
Those with spinal cord injuries often face a great deal of stress from the damage and the challenges of adapting to a new way of life. However, managing stress levels makes it possible to maintain good physical and mental health.
See Your Doctor Regularly for Checkups and Screenings
Preventive health care is vital for everyone, but it is especially crucial for those with chronic health conditions such as spinal cord injury. Regular checkups and screenings can help to catch problems early when they are most easily treatable. In addition, many insurance plans cover the cost of preventive care, so taking advantage of these benefits is crucial.
Some standard screenings and tests that people with spinal cord injuries should have include blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, and screenings for diabetes and osteoporosis. In addition, getting regular Pap smears and mammograms is essential if you are a woman. These screenings can help to catch problems early when they are most easily treatable.
Theresa Pileggi says by taking these steps, you can help to ensure that you stay healthy and minimize your risk of developing severe health problems in the future. You can do many things to maintain your health after a spinal cord injury. Staying physically active, keeping a healthy diet, managing stress levels, and seeing your doctor regularly for checkups and screenings are all crucial aspects of preventive health care. Taking these steps can help ensure you stay healthy and minimize your risk of developing severe health problems.