Spinal Cord Injury Basics: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment

Spinal cord injury is a condition when the spinal cord is injured, damaged or otherwise interrupted in their functioning. Spinal Cord Injury can be caused by many things including head trauma, sport injuries, vertebral artery dissection, stroke, and even cancer. This blog goes into detail about the causes of spinal cord injury and the symptoms that are present when someone has been diagnosed with this condition.

What is a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury is a serious injury to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerve cells that runs from the base of your neck to your brain.

A spinal cord injury can happen when the cord is hit by a object, damaged by disease or infection, or cut.

The most common type of spinal cord injury is a cervical (neck) injury. Symptoms of a cervical spinal cord injury may include paralysis below the level of the injury, difficulty breathing, and loss of feeling in the legs and arms.

Other types of spinal cord injuries include thoracic (chest) and lumbar (low back) injuries. Thoracic injuries often cause paralysis in both sides of the body and lumbar injuries frequently cause partial paralysis on one side.

Spinal cord injuries may be fatal if not treated quickly. However, there are many ways to treat a spinal cord injury, and most people with a spinal cord injury survive.

If you are injured and think you may have a spinal cord injury, please call 911 immediately.

What causes a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the spinal cord is damaged. The most common cause of SCI is a fall from a height. Other causes include car accidents, burns, cancer, and being struck by a bullet.

SCIs can range from minor injuries that cause temporary loss of feeling and movement in one or more extremities to complete paralysis. Symptoms vary depending on the location and extent of the SCI. For example, a SCI in the lower back may cause pain, numbness, and difficulty moving the legs; a SCI in the neck may cause difficulty breathing, swallowing, speaking, and seeing out of the eyes.

There is no one cure for SCI, but treatments include rehabilitation to help patients regain strength and mobility; medications to improve breathing, circulation, and nerve function; and surgery to reconstruct or replace damaged parts of the spine. In some cases, stem cells may be used to regenerate damaged tissue.

Some risk factors for SCI include being older than 50 years; having a history of falls; being obese; having multiple sclerosis or another neurological disorder; having a history of head or spine surgery; and playing contact sports.

Treatment for SC

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury

When someone suffers a spinal cord injury, the damage can affect their ability to move, feel and even think. The following are some of the most common symptoms of a spinal cord injury.

The most common symptom of a spinal cord injury is paralysis. Paralysis can occur anywhere along the spinal cord, from the neck all the way down to the tip. This means that the person may be unable to move any part of their body below their neck, including their legs and arms. Paralysis can also occur in other areas of the body, such as the chest or abdomen.

Another common symptom of a spinal cord injury is lost sensation. This can mean that someone may not be able to feel anything below their waist, including their genitals. In some cases, people may also lose feeling in their hands and feet.

Other common symptoms of a spinal cord injury include loss of muscle strength and reflexes, difficulty breathing and urinary problems. Some people also experience headaches, dizziness or visual problems after a spinal cord injury.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating symptoms of a spinal cord injury, but various therapies may help ease pain and improve function.

Risk factors for developing a spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injuries can occur due to a variety of different causes. Some of the most common include:

– Motor vehicle accidents

– Falls from a height

– Sport injuries (e.g. football, rugby, hockey)

– Abuse (physical or emotional)

– Disease/infection (e.g. meningitis, herpes)

– Neurological disorder (e.g. MS, ALS)

– Surgery (including childbirth)

Treatment options for a spinal cord injury.

A spinal cord injury can cause a lot of physical and emotional pain. But there are many ways to recover from this devastating injury. Here are some treatment options for a spinal cord injury:

-Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help you regain movement and strength in your arms, legs and back. Physical therapists also teach you how to use your residual muscles and nerves to improve your function.

-Speech and language therapy: A speech therapist can help you learn how to speak, understand, and communicate again. Speech therapy can also help you develop strategies for eating, toileting, bathing, dressing and more.

– occupational therapy: Occupational therapists may help you find a job that is comfortable for you and can accommodate your disability. They may also teach you how to do common tasks such as cooking, bathing, dressing and grooming yourself.

– home health care services: Home health care services may allow you to stay in your own home while receiving rehabilitative care. This type of care can include assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, grooming and transferring between bed and wheelchair.

Management and coping strategies for people with a spinal cord injury.

There are a variety of ways to manage and cope with a spinal cord injury, depending on the individual’s abilities and preferences. The most important thing is to stay as active as possible, both mentally and physically, in order to maintain as much independence as possible. A spinal cord injury can be devastating and difficult to live with, but with the right support, people can make a remarkable recovery.

Conclusion

Spinal cord injury is a serious injury that can occur due to many different factors. If you are ever in a situation where you may be injured by a falling object, or if you are involved in an accident, it is important to know the basics of spinal cord injury so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment. This article has outlined the most common causes of spinal cord injuries, as well as the symptoms and risk factors associated with them. Finally, it has provided information on how to treat spinal cord injuries should they occur. Thanks for reading!

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