A spinal cord injury can have a lasting impact on you and your loved ones. It can be caused in a variety of ways and depending on the severity, have a significant effect on your daily life. Here is some information to better help you understand spinal cord injuries and how they are treated.
What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?
Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the base of the brain down to your waist. Any injury to this part of your body is referred to as a spinal cord injury. Generally speaking, the closer the impact is to your brain, the more severe your injury will be.
Causes of Injury
Spinal cord injuries can happen in a variety of ways, most of them being accidents. Some common examples include car collisions, sports injuries, and acts of violence. There are also some medical cases, such as cancer or infections, where the spinal cord can become inflamed and damaged.
Symptoms of Damage
Your body will display signs if there is something wrong with your spinal cord or central nervous system. If you experience a lot of pain along your spine or lose control of any part of your body, there may be nerve damage. Other symptoms that indicate a possible spinal cord injury include numbness, weakness, and tingling in the extremities. It is essential to see a doctor immediately to diagnose your injuries.
Your doctor may perform a series of tests to see if your spinal cord is damaged and the severity of the injury. If you have neck pain, they may place you in a neck brace during testing to stabilize your spine and prevent further damage. The doctor may perform an x-ray or MRI to locate the damaged area and any other troubling signs, such as a blood clot.
Unfortunately, severe spinal cord damage is usually a lifelong condition that has no cure. In some cases, surgery may be carried out to reduce damage to the nerves or to slightly reverse the effects of the injury. For more severe injuries, ongoing treatment may be necessary to ensure that vital functions are stable, such as blood pressure and lung function, as the spinal cord helps the brain tell your organs how to operate.
Surgery is a particularly common option if the patient has milder conditions affecting the spine, such as a herniated disc or a blood clot. This treatment option may also be used to secure the spine to prevent further injury.
After treatment, your doctor will discuss recovery options. If the injury was severe, you may have lost partial or complete function of your body. In that case, special accommodations will need to be made in your daily life, such as using technology for transportation or to complete certain bodily functions.
Other recovery options include physical therapy for those who may be able to regain some function in their bodies. Occupational therapy can help patients perform daily tasks of living and working. Since the recovery process is long and often frustrating, some people may benefit from counseling to learn how to cope with their life changes.
Practicing safety and caution will keep you safe and reduce the risk of a concussion or spinal cord injury.
While in the car, make sure that everyone is wearing a seatbelt. Follow the rules of the road and do not drive at excessive speeds. Do not drive a car while under the influence of substances or be a passenger of a vehicle with a driver that is impaired.
When playing sports, remember to use protective gear, especially for your head and neck. If any piece gets damaged, replace it with a newer model. Follow correct techniques on the field, such as tackling and blocking in football.
Contact an Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Attorney at Doehrman Buba
A spinal cord injury is costly and has lifelong impact. If you are injured and are offered a settlement from a business or insurance company, do not accept the offer until you call our office and speak with an experienced attorney about your options. If you have any questions about a spinal cord injury case, please call us today at (317) 844-9999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.