What you need to know about spinal cord injury
The spinal cord is a cylindrical bundle of nerves enclosed in the spine. This highway of nerve fibers connects the brain to the whole body, making it possible to perform body functions and respond to stimuli. If any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal is damaged, spinal cord injury occurs. A spinal cord injury irreversibly compromise sensation, strength and function of the affected body parts, and so being diagnosed with it is definitely life-changing.
According to the website of The Mokaram Law Firm (view website), car-related incidents caused by negligence are always among the possible causes of an injured spinal cord. Falling badly from high places may also result in this condition. Acts of violence, such as gunshot and knife wounds, may also result in a damaged spinal cord. Diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and spinal cord inflammation, alcohol use, and recreational injuries also account for some spinal cord injury cases.
A person with a damaged spinal cord may suffer from either complete or incomplete loss of sensory and motor functions. Furthermore, they can also be referred to as either paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) or quadriplegia (paralysis of the upper and lower body). Individuals with spinal cord injury may also experience some of these complications:
- Circulatory problems
- Bowel control
- Bladder control
- Partial or complete loss of skin sensation
- Spasticity (uncontrolled tightening) or flaccidity (reduced or loss of tone) of the affected muscles
- Respiratory problems (because of lack of control of abdominal and chest muscles)
- Compromised sexual health
- Depression because of loss of independence
Studies are underway to discover treatment that would aid in spinal cord regeneration or improvement. For now, healthcare professionals are focused on therapies, medications, and other treatments that would reduce nerve damage, prevent secondary complications, and empower patients to reclaim their independence.