Older people with spinal cord injuries often fear the worse. While it is true that a sever spinal cord injury can be devastating, not all back injuries are catastrophic. In the next two post we will be discussing spinal cord injuries, their prevention, and common treatments.
Understanding the Condition
The spinal cord and cauda equina, nerve tissue located in the upper and lower back respectively, transmit nerve signals between the limbs and brain. Any damage or trauma to these nerve tissues will result in spinal cord injury, and can potentially inhibit movement and feeling in the extremities. A spinal fracture is present if the injury sustained results in a break in a spinal bone (vertebra). Spinal fractures can cause total or partial loss of movement, paralysis, or loss of sensation.
Diagnosing Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are diagnosed using X-rays, CAT scans, and magnetic resonance imaging studies (MRIs) to assess the extent of the damage. Treatment will depend on damage severity and may require the use of a brace, surgery, or both.
Cause of Spinal Cord Injury
While there are many different causes of spinal cord injuries, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCIs. However, an increasing number of SCIs are the direct result of violence or assault, such as a direct blow to the spine or an injury inflicted by a weapon. Sports-related injuries can also cause SCIs.
Prevention of Spinal Cord Injury
Preventing an injury is always better than trying to cure one. To prevent spinal cord injuries, avoid dangerous and risky activities. Exercise care when driving, storing handguns, and maintain proper balance when situated off the ground. In addition, take necessary precautions when playing sports. Reducing the incidence of injury may require some behavior modification, but such changes are integral to any preventive program.
Our next post will cover treatments for common injuries. If you think you may have an injury to your spine or back, contact us today for a free consultation. We can help you determine the best treatment options for you to eliminate your back pain.