Spinal Injury Therapy - Specialist Treatments For Spinal Cord Injury Patients

At Healing Touch Rehab, we are specialists in providing physiotherapy to patients with spinal cord injuries. Our multidisciplinary team of therapists and specialists work together to deliver treatments that reduces paralysis and promotes neural recovery. Through a combination of exercise programs tailored to each patient’s specific needs, we aim to help individuals regain function and improve their quality of life after a traumatic injury. Rehabilitation is a crucial component of the recovery journey and regaining independence following a spinal cord injury. It plays an essential role in optimising function, reducing disability, and addressing the specific impairments caused by such injuries. Through targeted therapeutic interventions, individuals can gain better control over their bodies and enhance their overall quality of life.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can occur due to damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spine or directly to the spinal cord itself, which is a complex network of nerves that run through the spine and play a crucial role in controlling both skeletal and visceral muscles. These nerves are essential for enabling individuals to move their bodies and regulate vital functions such as sensation, movement, breathing, bladder control, and bowel movements.

When the spinal cord tissue is injured, messages traveling from the brain to the rest of the body are disrupted, resulting in a loss of sensation and movement below the level of injury. The functions of the body above the point of injury remain unaffected, while areas below may experience impairment. This disruption can be treated with therapeutic interventions such as physiotherapy, neural stem cell therapy, or surgical procedures aimed at reducing damage and promoting recovery. It is crucial for patients with spinal cord injuries to receive immediate care and rehabilitation services to help restore function and improve outcomes.


This spinal cord injury is most commonly caused by trauma to the vertebral spine or as a result of an infection or disease. This type of injury can lead to paralysis, loss of function, and damaged neural tissue.

A traumatic spinal cord injury can occur suddenly, often as a result of a forceful impact to the spine that leads to fractures, dislocations, crushes, or compressions of one or more vertebrae. Common causes of this type of injury include road traffic accidents, sports-related incidents, and falls. A non-traumatic injury can be caused by arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections, spinal cord haemorrhage, vascular malformations or disc degeneration of the spine. These conditions may lead to damage in the neural tissue of the spinal cord and result in paralysis or loss of function.

Types of Spinal Injuries

A complete spinal cord injury can lead to a total loss of movement and sensory function below the level of injury. This means that both sides of the body will be equally affected, resulting in significant challenges for the individual. On the other hand, an incomplete injury may result in varying degrees of movement and sensation loss below the level of injury. In this case, there is a possibility that one side of the body may have more function than the other, offering some hope for recovery and rehabilitation through therapeutic treatments and care.

Treatment Approach

As a team of physiotherapists and Occupational therapists, we advocate for an interdisciplinary approach to care. We work collaboratively with our clients to restore physical function, address functional rehabilitation needs, provide vocational placements, and support their psycho-social well-being. This comprehensive approach ensures that all aspects of the client’s recovery journey are taken into consideration, resulting in more holistic and effective treatment outcomes.

We offer rehabilitation services to individuals recovering from spinal cord injuries in the comfort of their own home, community, or workplace. After a thorough assessment, our team generates a comprehensive report outlining the client’s specific needs, rehabilitation objectives, and treatment plan recommendations.

Ongoing support and rehabilitation will focus on increasing client’s ongoing progress, enhancing their independence at their own home and  also within the community alongside addressing their long-term goals and enabling them to return to leisure pursuits and work.

A physical therapy treatment focuses on reducing damage, promoting recovery, and improving function through a series of exercises. In addition to traditional exercises for muscle strengthening and maintaining optimal muscle length, our team also provides specialised care for paralysis management and muscle spasm control. Patients will learn how to use assistive devices like braces or wheelchairs effectively while receiving support from occupational therapists who specialise in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Our goal is not only to help patients recover from their injuries, but also improve their quality of life.

How does multidisciplinary  approach help individual’s with spinal injuries:

  • Strength and flexibility
  • Balance
  • Standing
  • Walking practice
  • Re-education of movement patterns
  • Gait re-education
  • Wheelchair advice
  • Seating and postural advice
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
  • FES Bike assessment
  • Provision of orthotics and splinting
  • Advice on equipment, activities and assistive technology
  • Techniques for transfers (bed, shower chair, bath, toilet, car)
  • Independent living skills
  • Techniques for bed mobility
  • Moving and Handling assessment and advice
  • Hydrotherapy assessment and treatment
  • Pain management
  • Wheelchair advice
  • Provision of orthotics
  • Advice regarding equipment, activities and assistive technology
  • Training of  support workers and carers

FES Cycling

FES cycling allows patients with spinal cord injuries to actively engage in arm or leg training. This innovative treatment is particularly beneficial for those experiencing paralysis, whether complete or incomplete. RehaMove FES cycling can be utilised by patients who have limited mobility while in bed or even from their therapy chairs. The FES movement training provided by this therapy helps activate muscles through high-intensity exercises, promoting cardiovascular health and metabolic function. Additionally, it enhances flexibility by offering passive movements to paralysed muscles and aids in building muscle strength, ultimately leading to improved functional abilities.

The RehaMove sequence training mode is a therapeutic approach that provides targeted stimulation for a variety of functional movements essential in the rehabilitation process. This innovative treatment method includes FES walking and gait training, sit-to-stand transitions, shoulder stabilisation exercises, and other forms of functional therapy to address spinal cord injuries effectively.

Book a treatment home, school or community visit

To make clients feel as comfortable as possible, we offer home visits or arrange treatment at one of our community clinics at William Merritt Centre, Leeds, or a similar centre or location of your choice in your local community across the North West and Yorkshire, or we could arrange to see you at a suitable space within your community.

We appreciate our clients may have mobility restrictions and will always consider how to make consultations and treatments as convenient, time optimised and pain-free as possible. Community-based rehabilitation and integration back into the community is the key to any successful rehabilitation. Besides the benefit of a familiar environment and the discipline of following treatment plans within their own setting , community-based treatment enables the client to stay motivated while involving their family and friends.