30 Dec Management and Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is simply a damage to a person’s spinal cord. It either damages the spinal cord itself or damages proximate tissues and bones. The spinal cord is an important part of the body system because it transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body.
The spinal cord is protected by layers of tissue (meninges) and a column of spinal bones (vertebrae). A spinal cord injury is a severe injury, however, the severity will determine the effect on the body. A spinal cord injury can cause you to lose function in some parts of your body.
When the spinal cord is injured, it affects a number of essential functions because it’ll become more difficult for the nerves to communicate with the brain. It’ll affect the bladder, heart rate, muscle movement, reflexes, metabolism, sensations, and breathing.
Types of spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries are usually in two categories – complete and incomplete.
A complete spinal injury can cause total paralysis below the level of the injury because it affects both sides of the body.
An incomplete spinal cord injury causes some functions to remain on one while the rest stay paralyzed. With an incomplete injury, the brain and body can still communicate on some levels.
Causes of spinal cord injuries
There are a number of reasons why individuals can develop spinal cord injuries. Whatever the root cause is, spinal cord injuries will usually result from damages to the vertebrae, discs, or ligaments of the spinal column or the entirety of the spinal cord. The causes include;
- Vehicle accidents
This is the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Trauma that affects the back, neck, head, face, or chest during a car accident can lead to spinal cord injuries.
Falling from a significant height or diving into shallow water and then hitting the bottom hard can also result in spinal cord injuries.
- Gunshot wounds
Violent attacks such as gunshot wounds and stabbing can have an impact on the structure of the spinal cord.
- Sports injuries
Sportsmen and women are one of the most vulnerable sets of people to spinal cord injuries. The force and impact that is needed in some sports can cause spinal or head injuries during sporting events.
How spinal cord injuries can be managed
The long-term effects of spinal injuries include persistent pain, paralysis in legs and arms, sexual dysfunction, inability to regulate body temperature, and joint contracture. When a spinal cord injury occurs, especially a complete one, the individual will definitely need some form of physical rehabilitation and therapy.
A rehabilitation center can take you through the healing process by helping you learn to use assistive devices like wheelchairs and walkers.
At Colorado Accident & Injury, we focus on finding the best ways to manage your spinal cord injury pain. Our pain management doctors in Colorado Springs combine solutions from conservative therapies methods like prescription medications, trigger point injections, cortisone injections, and facet/spinal injections to take you through the healing process and help you regain mobility and strength in affected areas of the body, amongst others.