Spinal cord injury is the harm or damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the tip of the spinal canal. This spinal cord injury frequently is the reason for lasting changes in strength, feeling and other function of the body underneath the location of the injury. People affected with spinal cord injury may look like each aspect of their life will be affected.
There is a lot of continuing research studies in different part of the world for the spinal cord injury treatment. A lot of scientists are hopeful that through the progress in research will make the restore of the spinal cord injury will be achievable. But for now, there are available treatments and therapy as spinal cord injury treatment that may let people affected with spinal cord injury to have useful and independent lives.
What are the symptoms of spinal cord injury?
The capability to control the limbs after spinal cord injury may depend on the area of the injury along the spinal cord and the intensity of injury to the spinal cord. The lowest common part of spinal cord is known as the neurological level of injury and the intensity of the injury is frequently called completeness and divided into the following:
- The injury is considered as complete if most all of the sensation and all the capability to control movement are lost beneath the spinal cord injury.
- The injury can be considered as incomplete if there still have some sensation and capability to control movement beneath the spinal cord injury.
Other paralysis that may result from spinal cord injury are the tetraplegia or quadriplegia wherein the arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all affected and the paraplegia wherein most or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs are affected.
The following are the signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries of any type.
- Inability to move
- Numbness, even the incapability to feel cold, heat and touch
- Incapability to control bladder or bowel movement
- Exaggerated reflex activities or tremor
- Changes in sexual sensitivity and fertility
- Pain or severe hurtful sensation caused by injury to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord
- Difficulty in breathing and coughing
What are the causes of spinal cord injury?
Harm or damage to the ligaments of the spinal column, vertebrae or to the spinal cord itself may cause spinal cord injury. A traumatic hit to the spine that may result to fractures, crushes or dislocation of one or more vertebrae can be considered a traumatic spinal cord injury. Other damages may still normally takes place in days or more than a week because of swelling, bleeding, inflammation and fluid accumulation within and in the region of the spinal cord.
There are non traumatic spinal cord injuries that can be caused by cancer, arthritis, infections, inflammation, or disk degeneration of the spine.
The most frequently causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States are the following.
- Car and motorcycle accidents are the primary cause of spinal cord injuries with more than forty percent of new spinal cord injuries every year.
- Fall can be a reason of spinal cord injury that often happens to people with an age of 65 and above.
- Violent encounters like gunshot and knife wounds can also cause spinal cord injuries.
- Sporty activities can also cause spinal cord injuries.
- Certain illnesses can also cause spinal cord injuries like arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis and inflammation of the spinal cord.
What is the spinal cord injury treatment?
Spinal cord injury treatment concentrates to avoid more possible injury and allowing people with spinal cord injury to still have an energetic and fruitful life. Medical researchers are recurrently doing on latest treatments that may help the regeneration of nerve cells after having a spinal cord injury.
People with spinal cord injury normally admitted to the intensive care unit for spinal cord injury treatment. You may possibly even be transfer to a local spine injury center wherein the medical team with knowledge in spinal cord injury is present. The following are the spinal cord injury treatment that may help relieve people with spinal cord injury.
1. Intake of medication.
Methylprednisolone is the medication treatment choice for a severe spinal cord injury. It is given to lessen the damage to nerve cells and reduces the inflammation close to the spot of injury. People who take methylprednisolone within eight hours of injury may have mild development.
2. Immobilize the body.
People with spinal cord injury may the use of traction to let the spine become stable, to bring the spine into right alignment or both. Traction can be done by keeping metal braces, attached to weights or body harness, to the skull to keep the head from moving. Using a firm neck collar may also be helpful. There is also special bed design to help the body keep from moving.
3. Surgical procedure.
Surgical procedure is required to eliminate foreign objects, fragments of bones, slipped disks or broken vertebrae that seem to be compressing the spine. Surgical procedure may also be required to make the spine become stable to avoid pain or deformity in time.
4. New medical treatments.
Scientists are trying to discover the ways of how to prevent the death of the cell, control the swelling and help nerve regeneration. You may ask your doctor as regards with the availability of such treatments.
5. Continuing or ongoing care.
Once the primary injury become stable, health care providers consider the ways of preventing the possible occurrence of secondary problems like pressure ulcers, bowel and bladder issues, muscle contractures, respiratory illnesses and blood clots.
6. Rehabilitation therapy.
If you are healthy enough and ready to participate in therapies, you may move to a rehabilitation facility. Rehabilitation therapy are composed of proficient members such as physical therapist, occupational therapist, rehabilitation nurse, rehabilitation psychologist, dietitian, recreation therapist, social worker and a specialized doctor in physical medicine or spinal cord injuries. Therapists normally give emphasis to ways of how to maintain and strengthen the existing muscles, redeveloping the fine motor skills and acquiring techniques to make the daily activities get done. They will be also giving advices in rejuvenating your life and increasing the quality of your life.
7. Pain reliever medications.
There are new inventive medical devices as a spinal cord injury treatment that can help people with spinal cord injury to move in their own, be more independent and have a normal life.