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Spinal Cord Injuries

Your spinal column is a series of bones or vertebrae that protect the spinal cord that runs down through the center. The spinal cord is the extension of the nervous system that connects the brain to the rest of the body through an intricate network of nerves. An injury to any part of the spinal column can result in paralysis to part or all of the body below the neck.

 

Causes

Spinal cord damage can result from an injury to the spine, a sharp blow to the head, or an injury to any part of the spinal cord itself. Falls, athletic injuries, automobile accidents, and acts of violence are all possible causes of spinal cord injuries. In some cases, arthritis, cancer, and degenerative bone disease can also be a contributing factor.

 

Symptoms

Damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis, or in some cases, numbness. The inability to feel, touch or move are the most common symptoms. A loss of bladder/bowel control is also an indicator. If the pain and numbness are accompanied by a stinging sensation, the nerves going to and from the spinal cord may have been damaged. An inability to breathe or cough on your own is also a symptom.

 

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Options

Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the situation. Medications may be used in the earliest stages to prevent blood clots, but immobilization, surgery, and rehabilitation are often the most common forms of treatment. If the paralysis is permanent, ongoing care will be needed to ensure the patient’s comfort and quality of life remain a priority.

Spinal cord injuries are very serious. In most cases, the damage is irreversible. There are many treatment options that can be considered, but most professionals agree that preventing these types of interest is the key.


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