Spinal Cord Injuries

"Spinal cord injuries are the result of damage to the cells in the spinal cord at the level of the injury.."
Signs and Symptoms

Spinal cord injury survivors often suffer from permanent loss of strength, sensation, and function below the site of the injury. Symptoms of spinal cord injuries are the result of damage to the cells in the spinal cord at the level of the injury. Other symptoms commonly reported by spinal cord injury survivors include muscle weakness, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, muscle spasms, overactive reflexes, feeling faint, sweating, reduced sensation of touch, pins and needles, leaking of urine, urinary retention, abnormal and painful sensation, leaking of stool, or shortness of breath.


What is Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are primarily traumatic in origin. Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries have their roots in the immune system and malformations of the spine.  Loss of function will depend on what level of the spinal cord is damaged and to what extent the damage occurred. Generally speaking, the higher the injury is in the spine, the more severe and life-threatening it becomes. Spinal cord injuries are categorized into complete and incomplete, which is determined by the extent of motor loss and sensory loss. Complete injuries indicate that below the level of injury there is a total loss of motor and sensory. Incomplete injuries indicate that there is still some capacity for motor function and sensory processing in the affected areas.


Our Approach to Diagnostics and Testing

Revive utilizes research-based diagnostics to evaluate function in specific areas of the brain. Looking at eye movements, motor function, sensory function, cranial nerves, cognitive function, balance, and gait. This information allows us to better understand what areas are affected so we can develop a treatment plan that targets those regions and networks to make them stronger and more efficient. These tests include eye movements, motor function analysis, physical exam, cognitive ability and balance.  

  • The VGN or testing of eye movement gives us a representation of the function of eye muscles, cranial nerves, brainstem nuclei, cerebellum and cortical regions. By measuring things like gaze stabilization,  smooth pursuits, saccades, and optogenetics it helps us to differentiate the areas of weakness.

  • Motor function analysis enables us to see the strength, tone, and coordination of the movement of muscle groups so we can better understand the regions and networks of involvement. Networks that are utilized in movement are the coordination of movement involve the frontal lobes, parietal lobes, and the cerebellum.   

  • In our office, the physical examination is focused on not only finding definitive signs of functional deficits but also catching the subtle changes which give us greater insight into the physiology and function (these findings are often considered irrelevant or ‘within normal limits’ in most conventional clinical settings).

  • Cognitive testing is utilized as a baseline marker to measure and monitor patient outcomes. These quantifiable tests validate results in many different avenues. Our testing encompasses depression screening, anxiety screening, verbal memory, psychomotor speed, processing speed, simple attention, and motor speed.  

  • Balance test or vestibular testing gives us an insight into the function of networks that are needed for standing, walking, even riding in a car. We look at the three main factors of balance (Vestibular, proprioception, and vision) both together and individually to isolate the areas of involvement.  



Our Approach to Care

At Revive we specialize in providing treatment to the neurological regions affected by spinal cord injuries. Your treatment can include balance, gait, and eye training; as well as hand-eye coordination, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), hyperbaric oxygen, diet, and supplements.

We offer a unique process that is built to maximize time and results. To reach your personal healthcare goals, it is imperative that your physicians and care providers precisely know your individual story and desires. Your individual goals are the focal point of the comprehensive treatment plan which is based off your exam, diagnostics, and lab results.  

Beyond the neurological system, there are many factors that can impact the presentation of spinal cord injuries: the immune system, diet, sleep, and stress (to list a few). By integrating knowledge of the brain and influence of these factors, we are able to be very specific with targeted therapies which create lasting neurological changes. Your treatment plan is designed specifically for you and is not a protocol.

This plan is executed over 5-10 days. Patients see measurable improvement during their time in our office and continue to make gains once they leave. To help ensure success on your journey of healing, we create and define a plan for you when you go home. This plan may include sourcing local specialist for a safe and effective continuum of care. Our goal is to see each patient continue to build upon the initial results they achieved in our office. 



Research on our treatments
 
Rapid Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) sends a magnetic waveform through the skull that depolarizes the brain cells.  rTMS can be directed at specific regions of the cortex to cause activation of the neurons in the area.  
 
rTMS as a treatment for mild traumatic brain injury

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) for the cognitive rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

rTMS to Improve Cognitive Function in TBI (rTMS TBI)

Non-invasive brain stimulation for the treatment of symptoms following traumatic brain injury

rTMS as a treatment for mild traumatic brain injury

 
Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy has shown to increase oxygen saturation to tissues and increase the amount of stem cell production and circulation. This allows for the greatest potential for healing in the brain.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Improve Post Concussion Syndrome Years after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - Randomized Prospective Trial

IMPROVEMENT IN CEREBRAL METABOLISM IN CHRONIC BRAIN INJURY AFTER HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY

Neuroprotective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in brain injury is mediated by preservation of mitochondrial membrane properties

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for brain injury, cerebral palsy, and stroke.

Hyperbaric oxygen – its mechanisms and efficacy
 
 
Function Movement exercises and Whole body vibration have shown tremendous results in increasing strength and self-awareness while decreasing spasticity.
 
The effects of proprioceptive stimulation on cognitive processes in patients after traumatic brain injury

Improving cognitive function after brain injury: The use of exercise and virtual reality

Voluntary exercise following traumatic brain injury: brain-derived neurotrophic factor upregulation and recovery of function

Treadmill exercise inhibits traumatic brain injury-induced hippocampal apoptosis

Exercise and Training to Optimize Functional Motor Performance in Stroke: Driving Neural Reorganization?


The word of virtual reality has grown rapidly in recent years. Currently, research is looking at the affect of VR on gait and movement. We may incorporate different types of VR to help patients with their perception of space and self.

Improving cognitive function after brain injury: The use of exercise and virtual reality

Virtual Reality in the Assessment of Selected Cognitive Function After Brain Injury

Experimental Studies of Virtual Reality-Delivered Compared to Conventional Exercise Programs for Rehabilitation

A virtual reality environment for evaluation of a daily living skill in brain injury rehabilitation: reliability and validity

Virtual reality in neurorehabilitation

Motor rehabilitation using virtual reality

Validity of a Virtual Environment for Stroke Rehabilitation
 

We utilize E-stim in many different waveforms to increase strength, increase self-awareness, decrease spasticity. The following studies are studies of individual waveforms and how they can affect strength, spasticity, and awareness.

The quantitative measurement of spasticity: Effect of cutaneous electrical stimulation

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation in neurorehabilitation

Pilot study of electrical stimulation on median nerve in comatose severe brain injured patients: 3-month outcome

Functional Electrical Stimulation


Sensory Motor Integration (SMI) can help increase reaction time and motor skills. SMI is strongly researched in the world of developmental delays and can be adapted to affect many different disorders.

Snoezelen: A controlled multi-sensory stimulation therapy for children recovering from severe brain injury

Bihemispheric brain stimulation facilitates motor recovery in chronic stroke patients

IMPAIRMENT AND RECOVERY OF IPSILATERAL SENSORY-MOTOR FUNCTION FOLLOWING UNILATERAL CEREBRAL INFARCTION

Post-stroke plastic reorganization in the adult brain


Cold Laser Therapy has shown increases mitochondria production in cells, helping to decrease inflammation and increase healthy cellular activity. When the cold laser is utilized as a transcranial (through the skull) therapy we see an increase in brain activation to the targeted areas.
 
Role of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Neurorehabilitation
 
Impaired cerebral mitochondrial function after traumatic brain injury in humans

Potential for Transcranial Laser or LED Therapy to Treat Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Neurodegenerative Disease

Transcranial low-level laser therapy enhances learning, memory, and neuro progenitor cells after traumatic brain injury in mice

Low-level laser therapy for traumatic brain injury in mice increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and synaptogenesis

 
Vestibular therapy is a very powerful tool in the world of neurological rehabilitation. When we look at brain development we see that movement drive brain growth and one of the most important areas for sensing movement is the vestibular system. When we utilize rotational therapy to active the vestibular system we see an increase in activation in several cortical regions.

Vestibular rehabilitation following mild traumatic brain injury

A neuromodulation strategy for rational therapy of complex brain injury states

Effects of Vestibular Stimulation on Motor Development of Cerebral-palsied Children

Effects of vestibular stimulation on motor development and stereotyped behavior of developmentally delayed children

Sensory integrative dysfunction underlying vestibular disorders after traumatic brain injury: A review

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