Full Rehabilitative Treatment and Support for Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injury medicine helps a person rehabilitate after a nontraumatic or traumatic spinal cord injury. Penn State Health is home to a large, multidisciplinary program that includes board-certified spinal cord injury physicians, physical and occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, nutritionists, nurses and recreational therapists. With experience in a variety of therapies, their goal is to improve all aspects of their patients’ lives through comprehensive, holistic care.

Complete Care for the Whole Person

The spinal cord and brain make up the central nervous system (CNS). They work together to control most of your body’s voluntary and involuntary actions (like walking and blinking your eyes) and to interpret sensations (like smelling perfume or touching a hot stove).

When the spinal cord becomes damaged, your body’s ability to move and feel is affected. It can impact your ability to control your bowels and bladder which potentially could lead to pain and muscle tightness. But these injuries don’t just change you physically. The best rehabilitation plans also consider the emotional and social impact.

Our program cares for the whole person by offering therapies that address all impacts of the injury – the medical, emotional and social. Examples of our comprehensive services are:

  • Adaptive equipment assessments to support activities of daily living
  • Management for spinal cord injury-related pain
  • Nutrition care for feeding or swallowing problems
  • Physical and occupational therapy to redevelop strength and motor function
  • Recreational activities for physical and social benefits
  • Spasticity management to improve muscle stiffness and spasms
  • Speech therapy to improve communication issues
  • Treatment for bowel and bladder control, blood pressure and breathing problems
  • Treatment for pressure sores

We’re also dedicated to providing robust social support services. Our social support services include:

  • Peer mentoring program
  • Phone support with a certified rehabilitation nurse on weekdays
  • Self-care and caregiver training
  • Spinal cord injury support group
  • Transitional care for patients with paraplegia or tetraplegia who are moving home from inpatient care

Support Throughout Your Recovery and Beyond

We provide care from initial hospitalization, through rehabilitation and beyond. Our specialists work with trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons at Penn State Health to start a patient’s rehabilitation as soon as possible. Once a patient is released from the hospital, they begin outpatient treatment that can continue throughout their lifetime if needed.

Experts in Care

Meet our doctors, view their profiles and select the one that’s right for you.

Find a doctor near you

Why Choose Penn State Health for Spinal Cord Injury Medicine

Specialized, Multidisciplinary Care for All Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

At Penn State Health, patients with spinal cord injuries receive care from multiple specialists. These providers have extensive training and experience treating both traumatic (caused by an accident or another type of blow to the spinal cord) and nontraumatic (caused by a medical condition such as osteoarthritis of the spine, spinal tumors or spinal infection) spinal cord injuries. By combining their skills, they deliver the most complete rehabilitative care and ensure the best possible outcomes.

CARF-Certified Spinal Cord Injury Program

Penn State Rehabilitation Hospital has met the thorough standards for spinal cord injury medicine set by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). As a CARF-certified facility, we are recognized for our high-quality spinal cord injury care and successful patient outcomes.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

Find a location near you