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Managing Your Spinal Cord Injury

Our nationally recognized experts have decades of experience in treating spinal cord injuries. We offer the most comprehensive Spinal Cord Injury Program in the region with state-of-the-art programs and therapy tools that will push you to maximize your recovery and live your fullest life.

As an academic rehabilitation hospital connected to an acute care hospital, we serve all levels of spinal cord injuries including patients on ventilators. Our world leading specialists closely collaborate within the rehabilitation hospital to provide the best, most innovative care. 

All of our specialty services that begin in the hospital will be available to continue through our outpatient medical and therapy care in Salt lake City. These services are also provided locally, regionally, and nationally through our telemedicine initiative. Our specialists are dedicated to providing our patients with a level of continuity of care that is unprecedented.

We believe in a lifelong care model that begins during your first days at the hospital and extends throughout your rehabilitation journey.

Our Services for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery

Our experts will provide specialized spinal cord injury care, primary care, and urgent care long after you leave the facility and for as long as you need our services. We will be your medical home for as long as you need us.

Pain managementPainful sensations are common after a spinal cord injury. Our team is well versed in the wide variety of medications and treatment available to help you fully participate in your rehabilitation. 

Spasticity managementMuscle spasms may sometimes interfere with function after a spinal cord injury.  Our spasticity management team will provide a range of therapies, medications, injections, and surgical options.

Diaphragmatic pacingSome patients who require long-term ventilator use may benefit from an electronic device that can potentially minimize or eliminate the need for a ventilator. We provide consultations and implantation services for diaphragmatic pacemaker systems.

Wound carePressure wounds can be a difficult problem after spinal cord injury. Our seating and positing specialists will help you choose equipment and strategies to prevent them. If a wound occurs, our team will be there to help you heal quickly whether that be in-person or remotely through telemedicine services.  

Assistive technologyOur world-class technology specialists can introduce you to every tool imaginable to maximize your freedom and independence after a spinal cord injury. This includes hands-free and wearable devices, computer systems, gaming equipment, virtual, and augmented reality devices. We are committed to helping you return to school, work, and any activity that is important to you.

Driving simulatorPatients can practice driving with adaptive hand controls modified for their injury before getting on the road. Occupational therapists will evaluate your readiness to return to actual driving.

Bowel and bladder managementYour bowels and bladder are often affected after a spinal cord injury. We have a dedicated spinal cord injury education team to help you with the programs and equipment required to safely manage your bowels and bladder.

Sexual and fertility servicesWe partner with men’s and women’s reproductive health providers to offer sexuality and fertility education, counseling, and treatment.

Find a Rehabilitation Specialist

Finding Resilience After a Spinal Cord Injury

At the heart of the Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital is a dedication to helping patients discover their resilience  and adapt to a new way of life after a traumatic spinal cord injury.

Read Kaylee's Story

Outpatient Programs

Telemedicine Services

If you’re far away or live out of state, we can provide medical services for you via videoconferencing on your phone, computer, or tablet. Our telemedicine services also allow us to assist with prescriptions and paperwork in coordination with some of your local providers.

Wellness Programs

Our wellness program provides you with access to gym spaces and specialists who supervise group-based exercise programs utilizing state-of-the-art equipment to maximize and maintain your functional recovery.

Our therapists use a broad spectrum of services to help you stay strong and healthy such as:

  • exercise and strength conditioning classes ranging from ski conditioning to Zumba,
  • nutrition and healthy lifestyle classes, 
  • massage and yoga sessions,
  • circuit resistance training, which helps you maintain the muscles you need to remain independent, and
  • games and assistive technology.

Spinal Cord Injury Forum

This free, quarterly education forum offers information for patients, caregivers, families, and professionals interested in spinal cord injury-related issues. We discuss topics such as spinal cord injury research, mental health, recreation, resources, and accessibility.

Our goal is to educate you and expand on the information provided at the Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital so you are always informed about the latest spinal cord injury developments. For more information about our next forum, call the referral line at 801-587-3422.


We are world leaders in adaptive recreation for individuals with complex physical disabilities. Every type of spinal cord injury is welcomed at TRAILS (Technology Recreation Access Independence Lifestyle Sports), a year-round free program focused on maintaining an active lifestyle.

We believe long-term rehabilitation means focusing on both your physical and mental health. For six days a week, we provide you with programming and state-of-the-art equipment to participate in recreational activities with the highest degree of safety, performance, and independence: 

  • Indoor spin classes (arm- and leg-powered)
  • Outdoor cycling (arm- and leg-powered)
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Target shooting
  • Downhill skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Wheelchair tennis

Learn More about the TRAILS Program

Meet with Our Spinal Cord Injury Specialists

For questions or information on how to be admitted to or how to access our programs at Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital, please call our referral line at 801-646-8000. Our referral specialist will work with your current provider to obtain necessary medical records and verify your insurance benefits for coverage.

Learn About Spinal Cord Injuries From a PM&R Specialist

Kevin Park, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at U of U Health, talks with Good Things Utah about the rise in spinal cord injury cases and more.

Rehabilitation Resources

Self-Care Guide for Spinal Cord Injury Patients

The goal of rehabilitation is to help you design a lifestyle that will allow you to function as independently as possible within the realm of your ability. This manual covers many things you learn while you are in the hospital that you can use at home. Yes, You Can! courtesy of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Learn What You Can Do at Home

Spinal Cord Injury & Fertility

Some patients with a spinal cord injury may have erectile and/or ejaculatory dysfunction. Our fertility specialists are highly trained in treating these types of disorders to help get your sexual function back. 

Learn More about Our Fertility Treatment Options

Hear From Our Patients & Specialists