Slow Improvements in Recovery Could be an Illusion

When people are diagnosed with an injury to the spinal cord, often they are told, "within such and such a time..."  And much of the references one finds on the internet will say, "such and such a time..."

Many people, including health professionals assume that after two years, your level of recovery is pretty much set.  While this may be somewhat true, it is sort of misleading.

For people who have recovered a lot, there is less amount to be recovered, so it seems we are recovering less. But the field is shortened, so relatively, we are probably seeing the same amount of recovery, whether two months or two years.  Using football as an example, if the opposing goal line represents full recovery, and spinal cord injury occurs at your own goal line, you have 100 yards of recovery.  You gain 90 yards. Relatively, you've recovered 90%.  Now you are at the opposing team's 10 yard line.  You gain 9 yards.  If you are at the beginning of recovery, 9 yards would represent a 9% recovery.  But since your playing field is now 10 yards long, that 9 yards represent a 90% recovery from your current position.

So, in absolute terms, it might not seem you are recovering as fast as before, but relatively speaking, you are probably recovering just as fast as before - it just doesn't seem like it because you've shortened the playing field.

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