Article published by : Max Health on Thursday, October 04, 2012

Category : General Health

Spinal-Cord Injury Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of our bodies. An injury to the spinal cord is often life changing and confusing. The spinal cord is the largest nerve in our bodies; it carries messages between the rest of the body and the brain, which is why paralysis is one of the main risks of a spinal-cord injury. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, but after some injuries this protection is lost.

Common Causes of Spinal-Cord Injuries

More than 40 percent of new spinal-cord injuries each year are from car accidents. For older adults, falls are common causes of spinal-cord injuries. About one-quarter of all spinal-cord injuries are caused by falls. About 8 percent of spinal-cord injuries are from sports injuries. Violence, including knife and gunshot wounds, causes about 15 percent of spinal-cord injuries.

Common Types of Spinal-Cord Injuries and Their Symptoms

Spinal-cord injuries may result in paralysis, which affects movement and feeling. The severity and location of the injury determine whether a spinal-cord injury will cause paralysis. Two kinds of paralysis can occur:
- Tetraplegia or quadriplegia is when the injured's pelvic organs, hands, trunk, legs and arms are all affected.
- Paraplegia is when only the victim's legs, pelvic organs and trunk are impacted.

Spinal-cord injuries are categorized as either complete or incomplete. A complete injury means that most feeling and movement is gone below the area of injury. An incomplete injury means that some feeling or movement below the injured area still exists.

Other symptoms of a spinal-cord injury can include:
- Issues with sexual function and fertility
- Loss of control of bladder and bowel
- Emotional changes
- Pain or tingling sensation
- Breathing problems
- Spasms or exaggerated reflexes

Spinal-cord injuries are serious and those with symptoms should seek treatment right away. The time lapse between the injury and treatment may have a major effect on healing.

Long-Term Prognosis for Severe Spinal-Cord Injuries

Damage to the spinal cord cannot be reversed so treatment focuses on helping the patient adjust to a new lifestyle and preventing any further injury. Surgeries, medication and experimental treatments are all available for those with spinal-cord injuries. Ongoing care and rehabilitation for the injured is necessary. The injured's family will have to find new ways to help the injured through this difficult time.

Not only does a spinal-cord injury transform the victim's entire life, but it can also be very expensive. Anyone struggling with spinal-cord injury caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person such as through violence or a car accident may find relief through the justice system. A personal injury attorney can help clarify potential legal remedies.

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By: Max Health

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