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Spinal Cord Injury - Symptoms, Causes, And Prevention

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The purpose of the spinal cord is to transmit messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

A spinal cord injury causes damage to the spinal cord and nearby tissues and bones.

Depending on the degree of the injury, different portions of your body may lose function or mobility.

Surgical procedures, medications, and physical therapy are used as treatments. A more recent strategy is to stimulate functioning nerves.

Since there are numerous sorts of spinal cord injuries, it is important to understand how they vary and which symptoms are associated with each degree.

COPYRIGHT_SPINE: Published on https://spinal-injury.net/spinal-cord-injury/ by Dr. Bill Butcher on 2022-09-28T04:10:08.295Z

What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injury is spinal cord damage, and it is a terrible bodily trauma that will affect most facets of daily life. The vertebrae of the spine contain and protect the spinal cord. The spine's vertebrae are stacked bones.

The spine contains many nerves and stretches from the brain to the buttocks. The spinal cord sends brain signals to the body, which is body-to-brain communication. Pain and movement are caused by spinal cord messages.

Some or all impulses may not "get through" if the spinal cord is injured. As a result, feelings and mobility are lost. A neck-area spinal cord injury causes more paralysis than a lower back injury.

Spinal Cord Injury - diagnosis, treatment, recovery.

Symptoms Of Spinal Cord Injury

Some symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Walking problem
  • Inability to control the bladder or bowels
  • Loss of movement in the arms or legs
  • Feelings of spreading numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Unconsciousness
  • Headache
  • Pain, pressure, and stiffness in the back or neck area
  • Signs of shock
  • Unnatural positioning of the head

Causes Of Spinal Cord Injury

When the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks that support the spinal cord get hurt, it can lead to paralysis or paralysis-causing paralysis. The vertebrae in your spine can be fractured, dislocated, crushed, or compressed in an instant, leading to a traumatic spinal cord injury.

A stab wound or bullet that pierces the spinal column can potentially cause paralysis. As the bleeding, swelling, inflammation, and fluid accumulation surrounding your spinal cord continue to worsen over the next days and weeks, further damage is typically done. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by things other than accidents, like arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections, and the degeneration of spinal disks.

Types Of Spinal Cord Injury

Since most spinal cord injuries are caused by trauma, there are a wide variety of damage mechanisms and spinal cord injury subtypes. Accidents involving vehicles, falls, gunshot wounds, sports injuries, and surgical complications are all potential triggers for spinal cord damage.

There are two main categories of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete, which account for the vast majority of cases. A region of the spinal cord that has been damaged by a total spinal cord injury cannot recover. Complete damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis or even tetraplegia.

Partial damage to the spinal cord is known as an incomplete injury. Mobility and sensation are affected differently by different injuries to different parts of the spine. The prognosis of a patient depends on their current health and past medical history.

A representation of the human body in blue with the spinal cord in red
A representation of the human body in blue with the spinal cord in red

How To Prevent Spinal Cord Injury?

Because spinal cord injuries are frequently caused by unexpected occurrences, the best you can do is lower your risk. Among the risk-reduction measures are:

  • When driving a car, always wear a seatbelt.
  • Wearing appropriate protective equipment when participating in sports.
  • Never dive into the water until you've first checked to ensure it's deep enough and free of rocks.

People Also Ask

What Happens If You Get A Spinal Cord Injury?

A lesion to the spinal cord at a higher level might induce paralysis across the body and affect all limbs (called tetraplegia or quadriplegia). A lower spinal cord injury may result in paralysis of the legs and lower body (called paraplegia).

Can Spinal Cord Injury Be Cured?

It is necessary for a person to be able to feel and control numerous body parts, such as the arms, legs, and bladder. A spinal cord injury is incurable. Rehabilitation and adaptive gadgets, on the other hand, can assist a person to gain independence and improve their quality of life.

Can You Walk Again After A Spinal Cord Injury?

Around 80% of patients with incomplete spinal cord damage (SCI) can regain ambulatory capacity after participating in a rehabilitation program. However, the majority of them can only walk ineffectively and require a walking device.

Conclusion

Some people enjoy fulfilling and fruitful lives after sustaining a spinal cord injury. Nonetheless, a spinal cord injury could have serious consequences. The vast majority of victims will require mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs to compensate for loss of mobility, and others may be paralyzed below the neck.

You may require assistance with activities of daily living and must learn to conduct chores differently. Urinary tract infections and pressure ulcers are typical problems. You might also anticipate receiving intensive rehabilitation for your spinal cord injury.

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About The Authors

Dr. Bill Butcher

Dr. Bill Butcher - With more than two decades of experience, Dr. Bill Butcher aims to provide a repository for educational materials, sources of information, details of forthcoming events, and original articles related to the medical field and about health subjects that matter to you. His goal is to help make your life better, to help you find your way when faced with healthcare decisions, and to help you feel better about your health and that of your family. Bill received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and spent his entire career helping people find the health and medical information, support, and services they need. His mission is to help millions of people feel fantastic by restoring them to optimal health.

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