Spinal cord injuries can cause drastic damage to your ability to function day-to-day, but luckily it takes a huge impact to do that kind of damage to this body part. These injuries most frequently occur after a sudden, very strong impact. Many vehicular accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries due to the high speeds of either colliding vehicle or failing to wear a seatbelt.
Most spinal cord injuries are caused by situations that we can work to avoid, but some result from cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis and general inflammation from infection or unknown sources.
Sadly, alcohol use results in about twenty-five percent of all spinal cord injuries. When consuming alcohol, staying in control of your faculties is extremely important. When you lose the ability to function as you would normally, decision-making suffers as well and you may not be able to adequately respond as life-threatening situations arise.
About a tenth of all spinal cord injuries is caused by athletic activity such as contact sports. This subset of common injuries includes those who were injured after making a dive into water that was too shallow.
Another fifteen percent of these injuries occur after violent conflict. Although weapons are often at play, this isn’t always the case. Any violent confrontation can lead to unexpected injury. It’s important to keep your head clear when under social stress and learn to avoid these kinds of situations.
For the elderly, most spinal cord injuries are caused by falling–more than twenty-five percent.
An unfortunate side effect of spinal cord trauma often doesn’t occur until weeks after the initial accident. Internal bleeding can compromise functionality, as can inflammation, fluid accumulation, and swelling around the spinal cord. These conditions can be difficult to treat and often require surgery to repair if such a thing is possible at all.
After suffering a spinal cord injury, you might notice that your reaction time is slower in certain extremities or appendages. That because the nerve fibers that connect muscles and nerves may not work properly after the accident. Injuries at varying levels of the spinal cord can result in varying levels of function after an accident. You might lose the ability to sense or control your legs, bowel, bladder, torso, and sexual functionality. If the injury is higher along the vertebra, you might suffer from the immobility of your arms. In the worst case, you may have trouble breathing.
Spinal cord injuries are far from the most common, but they do occur and it’s best to learn about how to avoid them during your daily routine–especially if you have kids involved in contact sports or help care for the elderly or infirm, who need to be watched at all times.