Social support is defined as the sum of all the relationships that make you feel as if you matter to the people who matter to you. Studies have verified that a strong group of family members and close friends or a support system (doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals) can help in coping with a chronic health problem such as a spinal cord injury. In some cases, having this social strength has been associated with people’s greater adherence to medical regimens and use of health services.
Studies now conclude that people with strong social support tend to fare better in every life situation, particularly with a chronic health problem. While you may have no control over your spinal cord injury, having a strong group of supportive family members and friends is something you can control. You can select the people who give you social support—even when you cannot choose events that occur in your life.