The biggest technological revolution over the last couple of decades has undoubtedly been the internet. It has given us access to millions of pieces of information, entertainment and other resources.
You can watch video tutorials on the move, discover where to find an expert you need and even talk with people live on video.
For the spinal cord injury (SCI) community, the online world has been a positive force for good, although you do need to take care about which resources to trust.
If you have a spinal cord injury, you may have visited sites like the Spinal Cord Injury Association or Christopher Reeve’s foundation. These sites both have a huge amount of information available. There are also plenty of research papers and tutorials as well as people blogging about their own personal experience.
Most states and regions in the USA have their own local resource and support groups which you can easily access from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Many of these provide face to face meets and organized events that are designed to help and create a thriving community for supporting each other.
Online SCI communities are not only a great way to learn more and get some useful tips about daily living, they help individuals engage with others who have a shared interest. Even if you live in a small town, you can easily get access to these resources.
Here we are going to look at some alternative online spinal cord injury communities you may not be aware of but are well worth checking out.
Many people may have heard of Reddit but might not know what it actually does. It’s a news information and discussion site that is used by millions of people around the world. There are specific discussion groups and communities under different headings and there’s even one for spinal cord injuries.
You don’t have to sign up to Reddit to use it, you simply find the page that you want and scroll through the messages and posts.
The dedicated spinal cord injuries page on Reddit covers a wide range of different topics with the community either posting personal experiences, helpful videos or asking questions such as how to shower when travelling and tips for adjusting to social and work life after a spinal cord injury.
It’s a little unordered but a quick search gives you a lot of information that you may find useful. You can find out more here.
There are lots of different groups with likeminded people on Facebook. It’s the biggest social media platform in the world and used by more than a billion people. A simple search should show you that there’s a thriving SCI community on the platform and plenty of groups to join.
You have to join Facebook to get access to these groups but that’s pretty easy to do even if you’ve never used social media before. There is one group called Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and Recovery, for example, which has over 7,000 members, including those with an SCI as well as family, friends, doctors and caregivers.
Usually you will have to apply to join each group but this is typically just a brief vetting procedure to keep spammers out (normally a simple question about who you are and that you agree to abide by the rules). Some people are actively involved in posting information, others simply like to use it as a resource.
A simple search across Facebook will reveal a whole bunch of different groups that you can take part in, many of them local. If there’s one social platform you should choose, it’s probably this one.
Another great resource for those with spinal cord injuries is Quora. This isn’t really an online community but a place where people can go and ask specific questions. If you’ve ever searched for an answer to a particular issue on Google, a link to a post in Quora will probably have come up in the results. Take this example for the question how do people deal with spinal cord injuries?
Answers can be short or long and full of detail, depending on the question being asked. People often will include links to valuable resources so it’s a good place to get started if you need some specific information.
As with anything on the internet, you shouldn’t always take the answers people have shared at face value and you should never substitute a response on Quora for professional medical advice.
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