Spinal cord injuries or SCIs are severe injuries that can lead to permanent changes in your body functions. According to Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries occur because of damage to the ligaments, disks, vertebrae or spinal cord itself. Injuries may occur if you suffer a blow to your spine or if you suffer a knife wound or gunshot.
Sometimes, your injury may incur additional damage because of bleeding, inflammation or fluid accumulation.
Factors behind spinal cord injuries
Certain risk factors may increase your likelihood of incurring a spinal cord injury. These factors include your age, your sex, joint disorders and your behaviors. Men, for instance, between the ages of 16 and 30, are most likely to suffer spinal cord injuries. While the average age to suffer a spinal cord injury is 43, many also suffer them after the age of 65.
Those who have a bone or joint disorder are more likely to suffer more serious injuries. Likewise, if you engage in more risky behavior, such as extreme sports, you have more likelihood to harm your spine.
Causes behind spinal cord injuries
There are several common causes of spinal cord injuries. In the United States, the most common cause of an SCI is a motor vehicle accident. Almost half of all new spinal cord injuries happen because of accidents. Falls account for around 31% of all injuries, while acts of violence are about 13% of all spinal cord injuries. Most involve knife wounds or gunshots. Sports, alcohol and disease also cause injuries. Alcohol tends to have some form of involvement in about 25% of all SCIs.