Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Resources   

Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Resources

Spinal Cord Injury Prevention

Risk Factors for Spinal Cord Injury
  • Gender: 80% of those sustaining spinal cord injury after the age of 12 are males
  • Age: The majority of spinal cord injuries are between the ages of 16 and 30
  • Race: More than 65% of those with spinal cord injuries are Caucasian; 27% are African-American
  • Activities: Participation in certain sports can increase injury risk. More than 60% of injuries from sports or recreation are related to diving accidents 
Spinal Cord Prevention Tips
  • Vehicles
    • Always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle
    • Make sure child seats are properly installed
    • Avoid distractions while driving, including texting, talking on the phone, eating
    • Never drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Falls
    • Be sure your home and stairways are well-lit 
    • Installing and repairing handrails on staircases may be helpful 
    • Keep floors, pathways and stairs clear - identify obstacles and hazards
    • Avoid slippery surfaces including throw rugs & utilize non slip mats in the bathtub
    • Place items in kitchen shelves within reach on lower shelves
    • Install grab bars in the bathroom next to the toilet and tub  
    • Accessibility – ramp installation or chair lift as needed 
  • Sports Safety
    • Always wear a helmet and all suggested safety equipment
    • It is important to replace worn or damaged protective equipment
    • Learn all of the rules of contact sports, following rules may prevent injury 
    • Avoid extreme sports such as bungee jumping, sky-diving, and base-jumping
    • Be sure there is proper supervision 
  • Pool Safety
    • Have clearly visible depth indicators around the entire pool
    • Do not allow anyone to dive into water less than 9 feet deep
    • Clearly indicate appropriate diving areas
    • Be sure pool area is adequately lit and clear of hazards
    • Have someone trained in water safety present at parties
  • Work Safety
    • Work environments should be kept clean, organized and clear of trip hazards 
    • Ensure that equipment & machinery is maintained, inspected regularly and repaired as needed
    • Proper training of employees in their respective duties in order to carry out their job safely
    • Appropriate precautions to prevent injury and possible risks explained
    • Utilize proper safety gear and follow OSHA regulations - many of work injuries include height incidents involving ladders

Aging and Spinal Cord Dysfunction

Having a Spinal Cord Dysfunction (SCD)can impact the aging process and cause other health problems to become more pronounced. Persons with SCD may show signs of aging earlier than normal and changes may have a more significant impact. Common changes include bone loss, chronic pain, pressure injuries, and kidney/bladder stones as they age. Proactive measures can be taken to reduce secondary health conditions that will decrease the early impact of aging.

Strategies to decrease the negative impact of aging include:

  • Avoiding painful repetitive movements and use technology that reduces stress on your joints such as lifts and slide boards 
  • Limit weight gain, stay hydrated and exercise regularly to maintain strength and flexibility 
  • Maintain skin health, perform regular pressure relief and use recommend relief surfaces
  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy bowel and bladder program 
  • Get regular medical check-ups

Spinal Cord Injury Patient Resources

Aging and Spinal Cord Dysfunction Resources

Peer and Support Groups
  • Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association: A not-for-profit that provides advocacy and financial assistance to person with spinal cord dysfunction in central New Jersey. Phone: 732-220-0870
  • Alliance Center for Independence (ACI): Local based organization focused on increasing independence for persons with disabilities. Multiple peer support groups- young men, women, LGBTQ. Address: 629 Amboy Ave, Edison, NJ 08837 Phone: 732-738-4388
  • SCI Peer and Resource Group: Last Thursday of every Month, January to October at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. Address: 119 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052 Contact: Ron Moore, Phone: 973-243-6912, Email: rjmoore@kessler-rehab.com
  • SCI Support Group- Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation: 3rd Thursday every month 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Address: 61 W. Jimmie Leeds Rd, Pomoma, NJ 08240. Phone: 609-748-5411
  • New Jersey Self-Help Group Clearinghouse: A not-for-profit organization funded through the Division of Mental Health Services that assists people with finding and forming self-help and support groups. Phone: 800-367-6274
  • United Spinal Association: Regional peer and advocacy support for persons living with spinal cord dysfunction.

Online Groups and Forums

  • Spinalpedia: Online based, open forum that offers social mentoring and networking for persons living with spinal cord dysfunction.
  • Facing Disability: Online based support group that provides support to persons and families living with spinal cord injury.
  • Reeve Foundation Paralysis Community: Online forum for questions and feedback about SCI.

Spinal Cord Dysfunction Information and Research

Accessibility, Transportation and Travel Resources

Employment and Advocacy

Fitness and Wellness

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