Hydrotherapy for Spinal Cord Injury: Understanding the Mechanism

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are life-altering events that can lead to significant physical, emotional, and psychological challenges. Traditional rehabilitation methods often include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and sometimes surgical interventions. Among these, hydrotherapy, also known as aquatic therapy, has emerged as a highly effective and beneficial treatment modality for individuals with SCI. This article explores how hydrotherapy aids in the recovery process of spinal cord injuries.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy involves the use of water for pain relief and treatment. It utilizes the physical properties of water, such as buoyancy, resistance, and temperature, to facilitate therapeutic exercises and promote healing. This therapy can be conducted in various settings, including pools, hot tubs, and specialized hydrotherapy tanks.

How Hydrotherapy Aids in SCI Recovery

Buoyancy and Reduced Impact:

Water’s buoyancy helps in making movements easy for individuals with SCI or any other neuro conditions because there is no gravity inside the water. It supports the body, reducing the stress and impact on joints and muscles.

Furthermore, buoyancy is particularly beneficial for individuals with SCI, as it allows them to perform movements and exercises that might be too difficult or painful on land. The buoyant force helps in partially unloading the weight of the patient, making movements easier and reducing the risk of injury during rehabilitation exercises.

Resistance and Muscle Strengthening:

Water provides a natural resistance that helps in muscle strengthening without the need for weights or resistance bands.

This resistance can be adjusted by changing the speed and intensity of movements, allowing for a customizable and progressive exercise regimen. Strengthening the muscles around the injury site is crucial for improving stability and mobility.

Improved Circulation and Cardiovascular Health:

Immersion in water can enhance blood circulation, which is essential for healing and reducing inflammation.

The hydrostatic pressure exerted by water helps in promoting venous return and improving overall cardiovascular health. Enhanced circulation also aids in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues, facilitating the healing process.

Pain Reduction:

The warm temperature of therapeutic pools can soothe muscles and joints, reducing pain and discomfort. The relaxation induced by warm water immersion can also help in reducing muscle spasms and tension, which is often experienced by individuals with SCI.

Improved Range of Motion and Flexibility:

Hydrotherapy can significantly improve the range of motion and flexibility of joints. The water environment allows for a greater range of movement with less discomfort, helping patients to regain mobility. Additionally, regular stretching and movement in water can prevent contractures and improve overall flexibility.

Psychological Benefits:

The calming and soothing properties of water can have significant psychological benefits. Hydrotherapy sessions provide a sense of relaxation and well-being, which is crucial for individuals coping with the emotional and mental stress of SCI. The positive and supportive environment of hydrotherapy can enhance motivation and improve overall mental health.

Implementation of Hydrotherapy in SCI Rehabilitation

Hydrotherapy should be administered by trained professionals who can tailor the exercises to the specific needs and abilities of each patient. A typical hydrotherapy session may include:

  1. Warm-Up Exercises: Gentle movements and stretching to prepare the body for more intensive exercises.
  2. Strength and Conditioning: Targeted exercises to strengthen muscles and improve cardiovascular health.
  3. Range of Motion and Flexibility Exercises: Movements designed to enhance joint mobility and flexibility.
  4. Cool-Down and Relaxation: Gentle stretches and relaxation techniques to conclude the session.


Hydrotherapy is a valuable and effective treatment modality for individuals recovering from spinal cord injuries. It is not only beneficial for person with SCI but for all neuro/ortho/geriatric conditions. Its unique properties and benefits make it an ideal complement to traditional rehabilitation methods. By reducing pain, enhancing muscle strength, improving cardiovascular health, and providing psychological support, hydrotherapy plays a crucial role in the holistic recovery of SCI patients. As research continues to support its benefits, hydrotherapy is likely to become an integral part of rehabilitation programs for spinal cord injury recovery.

-By Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh(PT)

We Planned, We Conquered : Ultimate Guide to Visit Vaishno Devi for SCI

Travelling is one of the important aspects of life and after surviving a spinal cord injury the survivors have somewhere in their mind that they won’t be able to explore places again. There is a big stereotype among people with SCI, their family members, and the society that they can’t travel ever again. So, to bust their bubble and create history KSNR came into the picture with our easier said than done plan to take our patients to Vaishno Devi, Katra.
Additionally, KSNR is setting a record by doing so as no group of wheel chair users have ever been there. However, we knew that it’s not going to be that easy but as a rehabilitation center it’s our responsibility to make our patient feel confident and teach them every aspect of life after SCI.

SCI survivors at Vaishno Devi trip.

Planning the trip

As we have decided to go on a hilly area with our wheel chair users so it is very essential for us to plan everything properly before starting our journey. The crucial things which need to be taken care are mentioned below:


First and most important thing is to decide how we are going to reach. There are so many ways to reach Vaishno Devi like by road, by train or by air but we have decided to go by bus as we are travelling with our patients thus our main motive was their comfort along with their enjoyment.

So, we booked a bus for the whole trip so that we don’t have to worry about the transportation throughout the trip.

Booking Accommodations

Booking the stay prior to the the journey is equally important because it nearly takes around 12-13 hours to reach Vaishno Devi, Katra from Delhi by road. So, those long sitting hours are definitely going to be tiring for the SCIs as there are many Quadriplegic patients travelling with us as well hence the first thing we need to do after reaching there is to let them take proper rest to avoid any further complexities like UTI, bed sores, etc.

Packing Essentials

Pack all the necessary medications and useful things like comforters , gel cushions etc. which will help to avoid problems like swelling, pain and discomfort. Some individuals with SCI do CIC for urination so for them it is very essential to pack a proper bag with all the necessary items like catheters, gloves, sanitizer, etc.

Visit the Bhavan

It’s the most challenging part of the trip as there are so many obstacles in between like to take Parchi (entry pass) to visit the temple, to complete around 15km trek with people who are not able to stand/walk on their own to reach the bhavan, and most importantly to do the Darshana of Mata and seek blessing in such crowd.
Earlier, we were planning to take our patients to the Bhavan by helicopter but as wheelchairs are not allowed in helicopter we had to drop this plan and then we booked Palkis as our alternate option.

Executing the Plan

After planning our itinerary we are all set to get started with our journey. We started from Delhi around 5-6 PM in the evening and stopped in Jammu in one of the Ashram and afterwards we reached our destination that is Katra in the afternoon. Thereupon our team reached out to Shrine board to inform them about our initiative and seek help from them for VIP Darshan and surprisingly they agreed on the same.

First day in Katra

Once we reached Katra, we let our patients take adequate amount of rest and then in the evening around 7PM we started our trek to the Bhavan along with our patients. As the Yatra route is open 24×7 so one can start their trek whenever they want.

Furthermore, we shifted our patients in the Autorickshaw and reached Bhanganga (where we have to start our trek) thereafter as per the planning SCIs have started the stretch till the Bhavan by Palki and their attendants or family members along with our team have started the trek on foot. We are almost around 30 people so it was almost impossible to reach the Bhavan at same time. So, as soon as our patients reached the Bhavan we started taking them inside the Bhavan one by one. There was around 15-20 stairs which was a big hurdle for us but somehow with the blessings on Mata we reached inside the Bhavan and that’s how our patients did the Darshan and seek the blessings. It took us whole night to complete the Darshan of all the patients and get back to our hotel.

Second day in Katra

On the second day we reached back to hotel around 10 AM in the morning and everyone was so tired so we decided not to do much and let our patients take rest. In the evening the patients explored the Katra market and that’s how we ended our second day.

Third day in Katra

To take some memories from the trip we took our patients to one of the nearby hill station (PATNITOP) and with all those breathtaking views and abundant memories we reached back to Delhi the next morning and completed our trip. It was a wholesome experience for our team as well as our patients and their family members or attendants.


After completing our trip to Maa Vaishno Devi temple successfully I can surely say that it was not at all easy, indeed we faced a lot of difficulties in between but with the proper planning we completed our trip and the memories are going to stay with all of us for our lifetime.
If we can do it anyone can do it. SCI is never the barrier it’s your mind and the society who forces you to think that you cannot do it. So, never let anyone decide for yourself if you want to travel and explore places post SCI just plan it properly and go for it and set examples for others.

A blog by
-Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh ( PT )

The Unwavering Pillar: The Vital Role of Family after Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is a life-altering event that can significantly impact not just the individual affected but also their entire support network. Among the key players in this network, family members often stand at the forefront, serving as the unwavering pillars of strength, support, and care. Their role is not just to provide assistance but also to provide emotional, physical and psychological support for the well-being and recovery of the individual.

Family is the strongest pillar after Spinal cord injury.

The Immediate Impact after SCI

The moment an individual experiences an SCI, the entire family is impacted. Shock, disbelief, and emotional upheaval often accompany the initial news. In such tough time, family members become the first helping hands, offering comfort, reassurance, and a sense of stability to the survivor. Not only the comfort and reassurance but they also provide a sense of normalcy amidst chaos. In most of the cases family members are not aware of what is SCI and how to deal with it. So, along with being the helping hand for the survivor they also needs to gather knowledge about SCI and it’s complications.

Emotional Support and Encouragement

Emotional well-being plays a very important role in the recovery journey of SCI. Family members often act as emotional anchors, lending a listening ear, providing empathy, and fostering an environment of positivity. Definitely, the positivity is the reason that SCIs regain their health speedily. Additionally, the family members play a crucial role in preventing feelings of isolation and depression that can often accompany after such a life-altering event.

The consistent encouragement and motivation by these constant pillars contribute significantly to the injured individual’s mental resilience. Their unwavering belief in the person’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges becomes a driving force during the recovery process.

Physical Care and Assistance

Other than emotional support, family members also helps SCIs with proper physical assistance. They becomes caregiver for the survivors immediately after their injury. After SCI the survivors lose their mobility depending on their level of injury and therefore require significant physical support. The practical aspects of caregiving post-SCI are multifaceted and demanding. From aiding with daily activities to ensuring accessibility within the home, family members often take on the role of primary caregivers. Tasks like mobility assistance, personal care, helping in daily activities and managing medical needs become integral parts of their daily routine.

Adaptation and Environmental Adjustments

The family’s role extends beyond physical care; they are instrumental in creating an inclusive and supportive environment. Adapting the living space, altering routines, and making adjustments from installing ramps and handrails to rearranging furniture for easier mobility, these adaptations are essential for the injured person’s comfort and independence. This inclusivity not only aids the individual’s physical well-being but also fosters a sense of belonging and normalcy, crucial for mental health.

Learning and support

Families often need to undergo a learning process post-SCI, understanding the intricacies of the injury and how to support the individual in the best possible way. As, the impact and severity of the injury is different for different individuals. Also post-SCI the individuals faces a lot of challenges like immobility, bladder & bowel dysfunction and many more.

Moreover, family members may need to advocate for the injured person, navigating healthcare systems, rehabilitation programs. Their dedication and advocacy often ensure that the individual receives the best possible care and resources for their recovery.


In the journey of recovery after a spinal cord injury, the role of family stands unparalleled. Their unwavering support, dedication, and sacrifices contribute immensely to the individual’s rehabilitation and quality of life. Moreover, the demanding nature of caregiving can be emotionally and physically draining. Thus, respite care and self-care are vital for caregivers as well.

– By Dr. Virendra Vikram Sigh(Physiotherapist)

Importance of Physiotherapy post Stroke

Stroke is a life-altering condition that affects millions of people worldwide every year. It occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, leading to the death of brain cells and causing various physical and cognitive impairments. One of the most effective ways to recover from a stroke and regain independence is through physical rehabilitation (Physiotherapy). In this blog we are going to see how physiotherapy plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process after stroke.

Physiotherapist helping the stroke survivor.

Goals of Physiotherapy after Stroke

Physiotherapy after a stroke is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps individuals regain control over their bodies and improve their motor functions. Stroke survivors often experience muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, which can make it difficult or even impossible to perform daily activities such as walking, dressing, or eating. Through physical therapy, stroke survivors can regain strength, improve their balance, and relearn how to perform their essential tasks.

Physiotherapy focuses on improving physical function, mobility, and overall well-being. Here are some key reasons why physiotherapy is crucial for stroke survivors:

  • Regaining Motor functions
  • Balance and co-ordination
  • Restoring mobility
  • Pain management
  • Adaptation to the changes
  • Psychological and Emotional Support

In addition to the physical benefits, physical rehabilitation after stroke also has a positive impact on the overall quality of life for both stroke survivors and their caregivers. As individuals regain independence and improve their physical functioning, they often experience increased self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, leads to reduced dependency on others for support and improved social participation.

How Physiotherapy Helps In Stroke Recovery

Physiotherapy is a personalized and adaptive process. Here’s how it supports stroke recovery:

Early Mobilization:

Initiating physiotherapy early after a stroke is crucial. Early mobilization helps in reducing the risk of several complications such as deep vein thrombosis, pressure sores, and pneumonia. Additionally, it also sets the foundation for better long-term recovery outcomes.

Task-Specific Training:

Physiotherapists focus on task-specific training, which involves practicing real-life activities to improve functional independence. This could include walking, sitting, standing, etc.


Physiotherapy works on the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. Repetitive, targeted exercises can help retrain the brain and improve motor function.

Individualize Exercise Programs:

Physiotherapists often works on the tailored exercise programs that helps to address the unique needs of each stroke survivor. These programs may include strength training, flexibility exercises, balance training, and coordination activities.

Use of Assistive Devices:

Physiotherapists may recommend assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or orthotic devices to support mobility and safety during the recovery process.


In conclusion, physical rehabilitation after stroke is essential for maximizing recovery and regaining independence. It not only helps stroke survivors regain motor skills and physical functioning but also plays a crucial role in preventing secondary complications and improving cognitive function. By engaging in regular physical therapy sessions, stroke survivors can continue to improve their quality of life long after the initial recovery phase. It is important for healthcare professionals, caregivers, and stroke survivors themselves to recognize the importance of physical rehabilitation and incorporate it into their stroke recovery plan.

-By Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh (Physiotherapist)

The Vital Role of Nutrition In SCI

Different forms of nutrition in food

SCI can have a profound impact on an individual’s life; it does not only affect the mobility but also overall health and well-being. There are so many issues and secondary complications that come with SCI such as loss of control over bladder & bowel, neurogenic bladder and bowel, urinary tract infection, chronic constipation, weight management, pressure sores and a lot more. To tackle with these complications along with rehabilitation, maintaining a good nutrition is also crucial. Nutrition plays a very important role in supporting the recovery and long-term health in SCI patients.

In this blog, we will explore why nutrition is essential for individuals with SCI and provide tips to optimize dietary habits.

Importance of Nutrition In SCI Patients:

After an SCI, the body’s nutritional needs may change, and proper nutrition becomes even more vital. Here are some key considerations and the crucial role of nutrition after a spinal cord injury:

12 main vitamins

1. Adequate Calories and Protein Intake

SCI often leads to changes in metabolism, muscle breakdown, tissue damage and a decrease in body mass. Consuming enough calories through extra protein rather then carbohydrates is essential to support the body’s healing process, maintain muscle mass, and prevent complications such as pressure sores and infections.

Protein-rich foods like pulses, oats, soya bean, eggs, lean meats, fish, and dairy products should be included in the diet.

2. Adequate Fiber Intake

After SCI depending upon the level of injury, many people loose bladder and bowel sensation. Digestion of food and movement of stool towards colon and rectum also slows down resulting in issues such as constipation, incontinence causing bowel accidents and sometimes diarrhea too.

Consuming an adequate amount of dietary fiber, found in fruits, green vegetables, cucumber, carrot, whole grains, and pulses can help soften the stool and hence promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.

3. Hydration

Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but it is particularly crucial for individuals with SCI. Proper hydration keeps healthy skin, helps prevent urinary tract infections, supports digestion, aids in regulating body temperature, and promotes overall health. Water, coconut water, and low-sugar beverages should be consumed throughout the day.

In addition, it is also very important to give calculated amount of liquid as suggested by the medical advisor if the person is doing CIC for urination to prevent leakage.

4. Calcium and Vitamin D

Individuals with SCI may have a higher risk of osteoporosis due to inactivity and decreased weight-bearing activities. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is important to maintain bone health. Dairy products, green leafy veggies, nuts, and supplements may be recommended to ensure sufficient calcium and vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is mandatory with calcium supplements for better absorption.

5. Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Foods

 SCI may lead to an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, can help counteract oxidative stress. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as fatty fish, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil, may also be beneficial.

6. Vitamin and Mineral

Individuals with SCI may have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency due to changes in absorption. Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function and blood cell production. Including sources of vitamin B12, such as meat, fish, dairy, and fortified foods, or taking supplements if needed, is important.

Furthermore, along with Vitamin B12 person with SCI may also have low phosphorus and sodium level. Mostly quadriplegics have low Blood Pressure causing lethargy and restlessness, so It is advisable to increase salt intake unless they have high blood pressure issues.

Additionally, Vitamin C and zinc intake is also essential as it promote skin health. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron more effectively and helps fight infections. It also aids in better absorption of protein. Good sources of vitamin C include lemon, orange juice, orange, kiwi, and broccoli. Sources of zinc include lean meat, liver, eggs, legumes, seafood, and milk. Dry fruits not only provide fiber, protein but many essential minerals.

7. Weight Management

Healthy eating can help lower your risk for becoming overweight or obese and for developing other medical complications, such as constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, infections, and limit your muscle loss.

Food choices determine the amount of calories you consume. Extra calories lead to weight gain and affect your daily activities, such as strength, stamina, and transferring. So, it is important to choose foods that are rich in nutrients while staying within your calorie limits. It is advisable to eat more seasonal fruits mainly water melon, mass melon, papaya and raw vegetables fruits, raw vegetables, salad helps in salad of cucumber, radish, turnip, beat root etc. This helps in filling your belly on one hand and very low calories on the other.

The Vital role of Nutrition In SCI: Key Points

Maintaining proper diet and taking enough amount of nutrition can help boost your recovery faster and also help in fighting with other secondary complications.  Here are some key points mentioned below to maintain proper diet:

  • Try to take as much of green leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits as much as possible as they are rich source of nutrients, high in fiber which helps in bowel management and also they are low caloric.
  • Try to take nuts or dry fruits (except cashew because it is high in calorie)  as evening snacks and avoid packaged food, cold drinks, too much of white sugar, sweets to maintain proper weight.
  • Increase vitamin C intake as it helps to prevent Urinary tract infections and any other infections. Also better absorption of iron and protein.
  • It is advisable to consume adequate amount of Salad.
  • Being hydrated is important for every being but comparatively it is more important for person with SCI as it can cause UTI, constipation, and a lot of other health issues.

Key is balanced diet, thrice a day and in moderate quantity. Snacks between two meals should be fresh fruits and dry fruits, A healthy diet will improve your health, but you can increase your health benefits by combining a healthy diet with other lifestyle changes, such as including physical activities, limiting alcohol use and smoking, as well as maintaining good mental health.

By Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh (PT)


Rebuilding Hope: Bhagat Singh’s Triumph over SCI

Life after spinal SCI is often never the same again. It’s a profound journey reshaped by resilience, adaptation, and perseverance.

In this blog we are going to see how the life of one of our Spinal Cord Injury warrior, Bhagat Singh turned upside down after the sudden shift from independence to potential dependence on caregivers or family members after he met with an accident on 31st Dec 2022. He rushed to the nearest hospital and there he got to know that he fractured his D-5 Vertebra (below chest down paralysis) and sustained a spinal cord injury.

Bhagat Singh at KSNR

Treatment Procedure Post SCI

After Bhagat Singh sustained Spinal cord Injury, he underwent surgery on 10th of January 2023 in Delhi. After that the doctors advised him to start his rehabilitation because SCI not only brings immobility, but also the patient is not able to urinate or pass the stool on his/her own and for all these things one need proper assistance and help and here comes the role of rehabilitation. It helps the SCI survivor to make their life better.

 But as many of us are unaware of what is SCI , how to deal with it and how to start processing life in a new way after SCI. Similarly, he was also clueless on where and how to start living normal life again so he decided to go back to his hometown and there he started his rehab at home at first and then after continuing there for few months he came back and started his physical therapy at one of a rehab Centre in Delhi from there he got to know about Kusum Spine and Neuro Rehab (KSNR) and decided to continue his therapy in KSNR.

In August 2023 he came to KNSR at that time he was completely dependent and on wheelchair but in a period of about 1-2 months only he started walking with the help of a walker and soon shifted to stick with AFO. Now he is completely independent in his daily living activities and stopped doing CIC because now he can void on his own.

He is improving day by day and KSNR is helping him in all possible ways. His journey from” disability to this ability” exemplifies the ability to rise above adversity, redefine limits, and embrace life’s intricacies with unwavering determination.

Rebuilding Hope: Bhagat Singh’s Triumph over SCI: Key Points

A bit of awareness on the part of an individual with SCI, families, and society can make a big difference in, not only the recovery process but the degree of recovery. But what matters most is timely intervention and rehab. management by the right professional.

The story of Bhagat Singh is a burning example of how timely intervention and proper rehabilitation at KSNR played the most crucial role in his recovery journey.

-By Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh (PT)

Transformative Power of Sports: Changing the Lives of SCIs

After Spinal cord injury an individual’s life is significantly altered, making it challenging for them to adjust to the new changes. This can have a profound impact on their mental health, leading to feelings of difficulty adapting and a sense of loss of control. However, there are several positive actions that can be taken to foster a healthy mindset and move forward with life. One of the most effective ways to promote mental well-being is through participation in sports.

International sports person Sakshi Kasana throwing shotput.

Sports can bring sense of positivity and purpose back into an individual’s life, helping them to adapt new circumstances. Additionally, it can provide a source of income for individuals with SCIs, which can be a valuable tool in their recovery. Apart from this participation in sports holds immense transformative potential in enhancing the lives of individuals with SCISs. Here’s how:

  • Physical Rehabilitation and Health Benefits
  • Improved mobility and functionality
  • Reduced secondary health issues
  • Social connection and support
  • Boost in confidence and self-esteem
  • Advocacy and awareness

Numerous Benefits of Sports

1. Physical Benefits

Engaging in adapted sports can significantly enhance the physical fitness of individuals with SCIs, leading to improved strength, endurance, and overall fitness levels. These activities also contribute in better health and vitality.

Moreover, it can improve mobility and functionality by enhancing range of motion, balance, and coordination, resulting in improved mobility and a sense of independence.

Additionally, it can help in minimizing the secondary health complications such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular problems.

2. Psychological and Emotional Benefits

Participating in sports can have a positive impact on psychological well-being and emotional resilience of an individual.

Furthermore, it can boost confidence and self-esteem, leading to a sense of positivity and accomplishment.

Additionally, sports can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which is a significant concern for individuals with SCIs.

3. Improved Social Connection

Involvement in sports programs can also create opportunities for social interaction, friendship, and a sense of belonging within society.

Furthermore, this social connection and support can be particularly important for individuals with SCIs, who may face social isolation and stigma.

4.Advocacy and Awareness

The involvement of SCIs in sports can serve as a platform to advocate for disability rights and accessibility.

Also, by showcasing the capabilities and potential of individuals with disabilities, adapted sports can also help in breaking down stereotypes and promote a more inclusive society.

Adaptive Sports for disabled bodies

Like abled bodies people with disability can also play any sort of games. Some of the games are mentioned below:

  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Track and field
  • Boccia
  • Shooting
  • Wheelchair Basketball
  • Wheelchair cricket
  • Wheelchair rugby
  • Powerlifting
  • swimming

Classification determines who is eligible to compete in a para sport and it groups the eligible athletes in sport classes according to their activity limitation in a certain sport.

Transformative Power of Sports: Key points

Adapted sports play a crucial role in transforming the lives of individuals with SCI by not only improving their physical health but also nurturing their mental and emotional well-being. These sports create a pathway to empowerment, independence, and a fulfilling life beyond the confines of their injury.

-By Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh(PT)

Leading Causes of Stroke and Prevention Strategies.

Stroke is a devastating medical emergency that affects millions of people worldwide. It is one the leading cause of death and long-term disability of individuals. Fortunately, the brain damage can be reduced if the right steps are taken early on. To help with this, it is crucial to know the symptoms of stroke, the warning signs, when it is important to seek medical attention, and the prevention strategy to minimize the complications.

Brain Stroke: Leading cause and prevention

To make you understand better about stroke we will discuss the leading cause of stroke and the changes in lifestyle which can prevent stroke.

Leading Causes of Stroke

One of the best ways to prevent stroke is awareness. You should first understand the major risk factors of stroke so that you can take action immediately if you experience any of them. By managing the risk factors early on you can reduce the chances of having stroke. To manage the risk factors, you should know the leading causes of stroke.

While some of the risk factors are beyond our control but some of them are influenced by our lifestyle choices. If you are experiencing any of the risk factors mentioned below, then you need to communicate with your medical advisor about the same.

1.High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Hypertension is one of the leading causes of stroke because it weakens the blood vessels and increases the risk of blood clots which can lead to ischemic stroke..

Additionally, high blood pressure increases the risk of vessel rupture as it places extra strain on the wall of arteries, which can cause hemorrhagic stroke.

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure through lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet(low sodium), regular exercise, stress management techniques, and limiting alcohol consumption can help in preventing stroke.

2. Smoking

Tobacco contains harmful chemicals that damage the blood vessels, promote plaque buildup, and increase the risk of blood clots in arteries. Each of these factors contribute to increase the risk of stroke.

So, it is important to quit smoking to prevent stroke or any another health issues and live a healthy life.

3. Diabetes

1 in 5 people who have a stroke are diabetic and the risk of stroke is more in people with diabetes than people who are not diabetic.

Diabetes contributes to hardening of the arteries(atherosclerosis), which increases the risk of blood clot or a ruptured blood vessel. People with diabetes are also likely to experience a number of additional stroke risk factors including obesity, poor diet, inactivity, high cholesterol.

Maintaining low sugar diets and doing regular exercise is important for managing the sugar level.

4. Obesity and Physical Inactivity

Obesity is also a major factor for stroke.

Being obese or overweight and leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause other health issue like diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension and all of these are major risk factors for stroke.

5. High Cholesterol

High levels of cholesterol is a significant risk factor of stroke because it contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of plaque in arteries. When cholesterol level is elevated Particularly LDL cholesterol, it can lead to accumulation of plaque on the walls of blood vessels, including those supplying blood to the brain.

There are two Types of cholesterol LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein).

LDL is considered as bad cholesterol because it contributes to plaque buildup in arteries, making the arteries narrower and increase the risk of clotting which can cause stroke whereas HDL is considered as good cholesterol because it helps in preventing stroke by carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries, back to the liver.

Focusing on limiting your consumption of LDL and increasing your intake of foods with HDL can help in preventing stroke.

Management tips for leading causes of stroke through lifestyle changes

Leading cause of a stroke.

Mostly, stroke can be prevented by making some preexisting lifestyles change and adapting to a healthy lifestyle.

Here are the changes which can help maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure level by taking low sodium diet
  • Quit smoking to avoid tobacco consumption
  • Focus to maintain a healthy low cholesterol diet
  • Eat food like Fish, nuts, etc. to increase consumption of good cholesterol
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Take your medications as prescribed for maintaining low blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Check blood pressure regularly to avaoid any further health issues
  • Improve physical activities and do regular exercise
  • Change your sleeping habits, try to take a good 6-8 hours sleep.

Furthermore, adapting to a healthy lifestyle can help in preventing stroke but it is also important to take medical attention and talk to your doctor about medications time to time to avoid any health-related concerns.

Dr. Virendra Vikram Singh(PT)

Understanding Stroke, Symptoms and Treatment options

Stroke also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is a serious medical condition that occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is disrupted, leading to damage to brain cells.
This disruption in blood flow can result from a blockage in artery supplying blood to the brain (ischemic stroke) or from the rupture of a blood vessel leading to bleeding into or around the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).

Journey of recovery post Stroke

Stroke symptoms vary depending on the location and extent of brain damage but some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg especially on one side of the body.
  • Speech may become slurred, or the person may face difficulty understanding others.
  • The person may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes.
  • A sudden severe headache with vomiting, dizziness and a change in consciousness may be symptom of stroke.
  • A sudden onset of confusion or difficulty understanding what is happening around them.

Immediate medical attention is very crucial for stroke treatment.  It is advisable to seek medical care as soon as you notice any symptom as some treatments are most effective when given right away after stroke. Also getting medical help quickly can reduce brain damage and other complications and can improve the recovery.

Some of the treatment options for stroke may include:

  • Intravenous clot-busting medication
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • Surgical interventions or endovascular procedures
  • Rehabilitation therapies

Role of Rehabilitation after Stroke

Recovery after stroke is a journey that requires patience, dedication, and comprehensive rehabilitation. Rehabilitation aims to help individuals regain lost abilities, relearn skills, and adapt new challenges following a stroke. There are various components involved in the rehab process such as:

Role of physical rehabilitation after stroke

  • Physical Rehab/therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation
  • Technology-assisted Rehabilitation

Rehab after a stroke often begins as soon as the individual’s medical condition is stable. Early intervention is crucial to capitalize on the brain’s neuroplasticity and maximize the chances of recovery. A comprehensive approach to rehab addresses physical, cognitive, emotional, and social aspects of recovery. Each step forward in rehab journey brings renewed hope and possibilities for a brighter future after stroke.

-By Virendra Vikram Singh (PT)

Spasticity : Causes, Challenges, Benefits and Management

Following a spinal cord injury, Spasticity is a common complication that can impact daily life and overall function. In this article we will discuss spasticity, its underlying causes, challenges and effective strategies for managing and overcoming the condition.

What is Spasticity?

Spasticity refers to the increased muscle tone and involuntary muscle contractions that often accompany spinal cord injury. It is a disruption in muscle movement pattern which is caused due to contraction of many muscles at once (sometimes called co-contraction). Spasticity can also be in the form of jerky muscle movements (spasms) or stiffness.

It is very common in individuals with SCI and gradually depends on the level and impact of injury. Individuals with cervical injury are more likely to have spasticity than individuals with lower level injuries. Spasticity can vary greatly in how it affects someone — it may be as mild as the feeling of tightness of your muscles or may be so severe that it causes painful, uncontrollable stiffness and spasms of your extremities.

Causes of Spasticity

Spinal cord works as a pathway which helps brain to communicate with other parts of the body. Spinal cord helps to send sensory information such as hot , cold, pain, movement, etc. from body to brain and vice-versa. Once the brain receives these sensory signals, it processes the information, and then sends the appropriate signals back down the spinal cord to tell the muscles how to respond.

However, when the spinal cord is injured the communication gets disrupted and due to which sensory information is unable to reach the brain. The lack of proper communication contributes to the hyperexcitability of spinal reflexes, which can results in muscle spasms.

Changes in neurotransmitter levels, particularly a decrease in inhibitory signals, play a role in the development of spasticity. This imbalance contributes to excessive muscle contractions.

The loss of supraspinal (above the spinal cord) control over reflexes results in unregulated muscle activity. The absence of inhibitory signals from the brain contributes to heightened muscle tone.

Challenges and Benefits

There are a lot of challenges or difficulties faces by individuals due to spasticity.

  • Spasticity can significantly impact mobility, making it challenging for individuals with SCI to move freely.
  • Prolonged stiffness or spasticity can limit the range of motion in your joints. This may lead to joint contractures, which can cause structural changes in the affected joints.
  • Sometimes the spasticity can be so severe that it can cause unbearable pain to the individuals.
  • Spasticity can make movement so hard which complicate tasks like dressing, grooming, and bathing, making independent self-care more challenging.
  • Repeated muscle spasms at night can cause difficulty in sleeping which may impact fatigue and mental health.
  • Severe spasm can make individuals fall out of the wheelchair, if not taken care properly.
  • Spasms in bladder can lead to leakage of urine which may results in UTI.

However, there are so many many difficulties faced by people with SCI due to spasticity but it has some benefits as well.

  • The muscle contractions associated with spasticity can enhance blood circulation, reducing the chances of vascular complications. Improved blood flow contributes to overall cardiovascular health.
  • Regular muscle contractions can assist in joint flexibility and reduce the risk of joint immobility.
  • Stiffness causes fingers to bend which helps in holding things and grip objects.
  • Spasticity can provide a degree of postural support, aiding individuals with SCI in maintaining certain positions.
  • It minimizes the risk of pressure sores associated with prolonged immobility.

Strategies for Overcoming Spasticity

There are various ways to overcome spasticity. Though there’s no cure for spasticity, these treatments can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

1. Physical therapy/ Rehab exercises

Engaging in targeted physical exercises can help manage spasticity. Rehab exercises like weight bearing, prone lying (lying on stomach) help stimulate the nervous system and activate neuroplasticity. Exercising consistently also helps reduce the excitability of hyperactive muscles.

Therapists can design personalized routines to stretch and strengthen muscles, improving overall mobility. It can also help in reducing muscle spasms and getting range of motion over the time.

2. Medications

Muscle spasms can cause severe pain and can be very discomforting at times. There are some medicines which healthcare professionals can prescribe to overcome the pain and discomfort. However, it is advisable to take these medications only when it’s needed and not on regular basis.

For severe spasticity cases, baclofen pumps are used for delivering muscle relaxant directly to the spinal fluid. This targeted approach can effectively reduce spasticity levels.

3. Orthotic Devices

Implementing orthotic devices, such as braces or splints, can aid in supporting joints and controlling spasticity. These devices helps to improve mobility and enhance overall comfort.

Additionally, we can prevent deformities caused by spasticity by using the orthotic devices which helps to maintain range of motion of an individual.

4. Botox Injection and Surgery

Botulinum toxin injections, commonly known as Botox, are a medical treatment option for managing spasticity, particularly in conditions like stroke and spinal cord injury. The injections are injected directly into specific muscles to get temporary relief from spasticity.

Surgical treatment is also a type of treatment for spasticity. Although, we should consider surgical treatments for spasticity only in cases where conservative approaches, such as physical therapy and medications, have not provided sufficient relief.

Additionally, It’s important to note that surgical interventions and Botox treatment for spasticity are typically reserved for cases where other treatments have not been effective, and the decision to undergo surgery should be carefully considered after consulting with consult with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. The choice of surgery depends on factors such as the underlying cause of spasticity, the severity of symptoms, and the individual’s overall health.