Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious that Georgia residents could sustain. It’s important to know the common sources of this type of catastrophic injury.
What is a spinal cord injury?
A spinal cord injury is a catastrophic injury that affects the different parts of the spinal cord. The vertebrae, tissue and nerves could be affected. Usually, these injuries involve trauma to the vertebral column, which impacts the ability of the spinal cord to send messages to the person’s brain. Often, the result is that motor, sensory and autonomic functions are impaired.
What are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries?
There are many things that can cause a spinal cord injury. Perhaps the most common cause of all is motor vehicle accidents. The spine is can be compressed or bent upon impact from a collision. However, other causes of these catastrophic injuries include the following:
- Falls, especially by the elderly
- Contact sports such as football or soccer
- Acts of violence
- Infections of the spinal cord
- Birth injuries
What are the symptoms of spinal cord injuries?
Symptoms of spinal cord injuries can vary depending on the part of the spinal cord affected and the severity of the injury. Immediately after sustaining an injury, it’s normal for a person to be in shock and have a decrease in sensation or movement. This happens due to swelling of the spinal cord. After the swelling subsides, symptoms begin to appear. They may include the following:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of movement
- Loss of feeling
- Loss of bladder and bowel function
- Breathing problems
Some people can recover from a spinal cord injury. However, the more severe the injury, the less likely it is to recover. These injuries can be life-changing even if they’re milder and temporary.