What Is A Spinal Cord injury?
Spinal cord injury is a condition when the spinal cord becomes damaged or injured. Loss of sensation or movement will take place in the affected area. A human spinal cord is prone to trauma that might occur from a vehicular accident, a gunshot wound or a fatal fall. In addition, this injury could also make way for conditions like polio and spina bifida to arise. Most of the people who have experienced this injury and survived may have an intact spinal cord. However, the damage may result to some remarkable impairment, resulting in a person’s overall health to get affected. It is important to understand spinal cord and how it plays a significant role for a human posture, movement, and complete wellbeing. Its structure must also be known to help people get more information about this type of injury and the implications it could pose to a sufferer.
Spinal Cord – The spinal cord is 18 inches long traveling from the neck case to the waist level. The nerves in this cord are essential for the distribution of messages from the brain to the different parts of the body then back to the brain. The spinal nerves are essential to carry impulses to and from the brain. They enter and exit the cord at several junctions corresponding to various areas of the body. Any injuries inflicted to the spinal cord will affect several body parts and abilities from functioning well. Vertebrae – Our spinal cord is covered by a series of bone connections in order to protect it. This will
essentially make up our spine. Everybody must know that the higher the injury in the spine occurs, the more severe the loss of function would be. One must likewise understand the difference between a complete and an incomplete spinal cord injury. A complete injury to the spinal cord will result for both sides of the body to get affected. Meanwhile, an incomplete injury signifies that there is a higher chance of one side getting more affected than the other side. This injury is indeed life-altering, which is why it is important to know more about it. If a victim wants to continue living his life after an injury has taken place, it is important to know the actual causes of this injury. Nowadays, there are available treatments that will help the survivors to live a normal life, but they must know first the causes of this debilitating condition.
What Are The Causes Of The Spinal Cord Injury?
By learning the major causes of the injury related to the spinal cord, people will prevent any life-altering
problems. You must ensure to know the causes of these kinds of injuries and the measure that can help
you reduce the risks.
Major Causes Of Injury Related To The Spinal Cord
- Vehicular accidents
- Sport-related injuries
- Certain conditions and diseases
Currently, vehicular accidents are the leading causes of the injury related to the spinal cord. In particular, 40% of spinal cord injuries are related to accidents involving cars and motorcycles. If you are driving or if you are with someone on the road, you must exercise safety at all times. You must not drive if you have taken alcoholic drinks. Also, it is a big no for you to drive or be with someone who is taking drugs. Keep an eye to these pointers because these could possibly save you from acquiring any fatal injuries or worse, even death. You must also take into consideration other motorists who are awkwardly
driving. The second main cause of this injury is fall. About 25% of patients suffering from this are victims of falls. Falls can happen practically anywhere. It could happen at home, at the workplace or even in a public place. You can totally prevent any risks of falls at home by installing proper lighting in dim areas. At your workplace, make sure that there is a regular clean up to determine if there are any situations that could affect the safety of everyone in the building. People who are into sports might also be prone to this injury. Nevertheless, it could be prevented by wearing the ideal protection and gears a certain sport requires. For example, if you love swimming, make sure not to perform a dive if you do not know how shallow or deep a certain pool is. Take this warning and no harm will come to you. Several health conditions like cancer and osteoporosis might also make way for you to suffer from injuries of the spinal cord. As much as possible, live a healthy life free from any factors that could worsen your condition. You have to eat the right foods and have a healthy lifestyle. These pointers will let you prevent any further conditions from affecting your health. The effects and the symptoms of this particular injury must also be understood to devise the best treatment plan for anyone suffering from it.
What Are The Symptoms And The Effects Of The Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries can affect many body functions. It is a must to know these factors to help you become aware of how dreaded this condition really is and why you have to avoid it by all means. Reflexes involving the spinal cord – The spinal cord is instrumental for the transfer of messages to and from the brain. Once an injury occurs in this part of the body, the relay of messages will be distorted. Some areas of the spinal cord that are still intact could send messages to the brain, but most of its functions will be impaired. As a result, reflex movements may take place, but these are not the movements that you can control. Swallowing – Injuries to the higher part of the spinal cord (cervical injuries) may cause the inability to
swallow effortlessly. If in case this happens, a sufferer might use a nasogastric tube (NGT) to allow nutrition and medication to pass inside the body. A dietitian may also help the medical team to let patients have the appropriate nutrition they need.
Breathing – Following an injury to the spinal cord, a victim might have an impaired breathing. The muscles used for breathing may be affected and become weak. At times, a victim might also have a hard time coughing. Coughing is essential to eliminate any secretions and bacteria in the lungs. Infection of the lungs might occur due to the secretions from the lungs as evidenced by weak coughing. Bladder Control – Injuries related to the spinal cord will also make way for your brain and bladder to have an altered distribution of messages. As a result, bladder control will also be impaired. Normally,
the nerves in the bladder will send a message to the brain once it is full, signaling that it is time to urinate. This function will be greatly affected if you suffer from this certain injury. Injuries related to the brain – Patients who have encountered severe trauma in the neck and the back area are likely to get their brains injured as well. These injuries range from a moderate concussion to a more severe injury. It will result with a difficulty in memory, communication, concentration or even
changes in personality. Spinal Shock – This condition is the temporary loss of all sensations and reflexes of the spinal cord below the affected area. This may persist for days up to weeks. After it has taken its toll, stiffness below the
affected site will start to occur. You must know that spinal shock cannot be treated and it should be resolved on its own.
Unbalanced Temperature Regulation – The injury involving the spinal cord will prevent your ability to sweat or feel goose bumps. Your body will have a hard time adjusting to your temperature. You might also suffer from extreme cold or heat.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – DVT is a blood clot that can develop in the arms and legs. It is caused by a lack of movement, which is very evident when it comes to spinal cord injuries. Regular exercise of the affected parts (arms and legs) will help to get rid of any possibilities of DVT. When all hopes seem to have failed, you must know that there is still hope for the recovery from spinal cord injuries. Nowadays, there are clinics and facilities willing to help the victims of this type of injury to
regain their normal lives once more.