Spinal cord injury – Symptoms and causes

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spinal cord injury prognosis

The spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (called equina). It is often causing permanent changes in sensation, strength and other body functions below the site of the injury. If you recently experienced a spinal cord injury, then it may seem that every aspect of your life is affected. You can feel the effects of your spinal cord injury in different ways, like socially, emotionally and mentally.

Many scientists are optimistic that in the future the repair of it injury will be possible due to advance in research. There are many experts all around the world who are doing researches about it injury. Nowadays, the rehabilitation and treatments can allow many people with spinal cord injuries to lead productive and independent lives.

spinal cord injury treatment

Spinal cord injury symptoms

Your ability to control your limbs after a spinal cord injury depends from two factors – the severity of injury to the spinal cord and the place of the injury along your spinal cord. The neurological level of the injury is a term which is used to describe the lowest normal part of your spinal cord. Often, the severity of the spinal cord injury is called “the completeness” and it is classified as either of these:

  • Complete: It is called complete when all feeling (sensory) and all ability to control movement (motor function) are lost due to this injury.
  • Incomplete: It is called incomplete when you have some motor or sensory function below the affected area.

Also, the paralysis which is caused by it can be referred to as:

  • Paraplegia: This type of paralysis is affecting all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
  • Tetraplegia: It is also known as quadriplegia which means that your pelvic organs, legs, trunk, hands and arms are all affected by your spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injury causes

Here are the most common causes for it injury:

  • Diseases: Inflammation of the spinal cord, osteoporosis, arthritis and cancer can cause spinal cord injury.
  • Alcohol: There are some studies in which are said that the alcohol usage is a factor for it. 1 in 4 people have injury due to alcohol use.
  • Sports and recreation injuries: It is estimated that about 10% of spinal cord injuries are caused by athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water.
  • Acts of violence: There are some studies in which are said that around 12% of spinal cord injuries result from the violent encounters and often this involves knife wounds and gunshot.
  • Falls: It is noticed that the injury after age 65 is most commonly caused by a fall. It is estimated that more than 15% of injuries are caused by falls.
  • Motor vehicle accidents: The leading cause for the spinal cord injury is the auto and motorcycle accidents. They are cause for almost half of new spinal cord injuries each year.

Risk factors

Usually, the spinal cord injury is result from an accident and it can happen to every single person, but there are some factors which increase your risk of getting a spinal cord injury, such as

  • Having a bone or joint disorder: If you have another disorder which affects your bones or joints, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, then a relatively minor injury can cause spinal cord injury.
  • Engaging in risky behavior: When you are playing sports without wearing the proper safety gear or diving into too – shallow water or when you are not taking proper precautions, then it can lead to spinal cord injury.
  • Being older than 65: It is shown that falls cause most common injuries in older adults.
  • Being between the ages of 16 and 30: If you are between the ages of 16 and 30, you are having most chances to suffer from traumatic spinal cord injury.
  • Being male: There are some studies in which are said that in the most cases, men are affected by spinal cord injury. In United States of America, only 20% of it injuries are in women.

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