One common issue associated with spinal cord injuries (SCI) is fatigue.
Fatigue can manifest in a variety of ways. One might simply feel tired because they have over-exerted themselves or they may experience more targeted muscle fatigue in certain areas because of physiological reasons.
Furthermore, they may be suffering from mental health issues associated with their injury and this can also cause a feeling of energy being drained.
Here we take a closer look at what spinal cord injury fatigue is, why it may occur and how it can be managed.
We all feel tired at some time. With a little rest, most of us tend to boost our energy levels and return to a feeling of normality. With spinal cord injury fatigue, however, that tiredness or weak feeling is directly related to the condition itself and can quickly become chronic in nature.
Research has identified two types of fatigue when it comes to spinal cord injuries:
Overall, spinal cord injury fatigue doesn’t occur simply because an individual is lazy or has given up. It often has a biological or psychological basis and can certainly be made worse if there is chronic pain that has to be dealt with on a daily basis.
The important thing to remember is that there are plenty of different strategies which can be used to improve fatigue and make it a less of a problem for the individual.
With the right approach, it can be possible to turn things around and improve energy levels, or at least manage instances of fatigue more effectively.
There are several ways to improve feelings of fatigue but it’s important in the first instance to identify what the problem is and what the individual’s capabilities are.
An individual may have certain triggers that make periods of fatigue more likely. These can include lack of sleep, eating unhealthy foods and doing too many activities. It’s important that individuals with an SCI get the right balance when it comes to sleep, diet and exercise.
The extent of the spinal cord injury also may define the type of strategy that is put in place.
It’s essential not to simply put up with spinal cord injury fatigue however it manifests. Finding effective strategies and making changes to daily routines can help to alleviate the symptoms associated with fatigue and ensure the individual has energy for the things that matter most.
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