70 Butler Street, Salem, NH 03079
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Spinal Cord Injury Program


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Mission

The intensive spinal cord injury program at NRH is designed to provide physical rehabilitation in a highly stimulating and educational environment. Through daily practice, ongoing education, peer interaction, emotional support counseling, and other therapeutic resources, patients learn to manage their own mobility and daily self-care needs as they move toward community reintegration.

Program Philosophy

Our Spinal Cord Injury Program has been established to serve as a comprehensive community resource for individuals with spinal cord injury. Patients admitted to this program may have neurological deficits from either a traumatic or non-traumatic insult to the spinal cord. The level of deficits may range from weakness to complete paralysis. Spinal cord injured individuals present with a number of unique needs which will have an impact upon many areas of their lives. The NRH Spinal Cord Injury Program meets the challenge of providing the individualized and comprehensive care which will address these needs.

The principle component of the Spinal Cord Injury Program is the interdisciplinary team. The focal member of this team is the individual with a spinal cord injury. The patient will be active in establishing a personalized set of goals for rehabilitation utilizing the expertise and the guidance of all primary interdisciplinary team members. The team is skilled in working with the patient on such issues as self care, mobility, bowel and bladder function, sexuality, accessibility and many others. The ultimate goal of the SCI Team is to provide the spinal cord injured patient with the environment, tools and resources to attain maximum independence.

Community re-integration is an important aspect of the NRH Spinal Cord Injury Program and begins long before discharge. Community out-trips, with patients accompanied by professional staff members and other spinal cord injured peers, begin as soon as the patient has the appropriate endurance and is medically stable. Community reintegration involves challenging individuals to become assertive in evaluating accessibility and problem solving of physical and emotional obstacles. These early out-trips are also vital in re-establishing self confidence and a positive self image and view of the future.

Services provided through the spinal cord injury program include, but certainly are not limited to an education series, and a weekly support group, peer support, community out-trips, aquatics, functional electrical stimulation and various clinics including a mandatory follow-up clinic.

In summary, Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital's Spinal Cord Injury Program seeks to provide an individual with a spinal cord injury and his/her family with a highly stimulating and educational environment. Within this environment, the individual will learn to become his/her own "program manager." Through daily practice, ongoing education, peer interaction and community reintegration, the individual will learn to manage his/her own mobility and daily self-care needs. Additionally, through emotional support, counseling and the provision of many resources, the individual will acquire the confidence to pursue a life of active participation within the family, the community and the work force.

Program Features

There is an emphasis in the spinal cord injury program on community reentry, including community out-trips, guidance of home modification, and exploration of adaptive equipment for driving. Intensive recreational training encourages patients to once again enjoy existing avocational activities and to explore new ones.

Therapies within the spinal cord injury rehabilitation program utilize the science of rehabilitation engineering in the development and application of orthotics, adaptive equipment, and specialized wheelchairs. In addition, the program includes a thorough educational component, utilizing comprehensive teaching manuals to explain medical issues sometimes associated with spinal cord injury, such as autonomic dysreflexia and orthostatic hypotension.


Last Updated: 07/10/01 | ©2000 Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network