Spinal cord injury is among the leading causes of chronic disability. Read further and learn about how spinal cord injury can impact a person’s life.
A spinal cord injury refers to the damage to the spinal cord, usually due to extreme physical trauma such as in accidents or contact sports. This condition can lead to lasting and serious impact on a person’s life.
Although it can happen to almost anyone, males age 15 to 35 are at higher risk of developing spinal cord injuries. This is because most people who sustain serious physical trauma to this part of the body are both young and in good health.
The spinal cord connects the brain to the other parts of the body. This bundle of nerves and other tissue is contained and protected by the vertebral bones of the spine. The spinal cord is composed of many nerves, and extends from the base of the brain to the lowermost end of the buttocks. This body organ is essential for relaying messages or impulses from the brain to the different parts of the body, and vice versa. It is responsible for effective sensation, balance, movement, and many more. Spinal cord injury can result when the nerves protrude or the vertebra pushes towards the nerves or the nerves get severed or damaged.
In case of spinal cord injury, the impulses that are transmitted through the nerves may be prevented. The result can either be a total or partial loss of sensation and voluntary body functions below the injury. The part of the body affected after a spinal cord damage depends on the level at which the damage occurred, the type of injury, and the extent of damage involving the spinal cord. For example, spinal cord injury that is closer to the neck will typically result in loss of body movement throughout the entire the body. On the other hand, injury occurring at the lower back may only result in paralysis of lower limbs.
The effects of spinal cord injury can be quite difficult to predict. Some may experience partial paralysis while others suffer total paralysis. Either way, it can adversely affect the life of the person. The loss of function of the body part can go on for a lifetime. Medical intervention can only help manage symptoms but not actually repairing the damaged nerves.
Since accidents are the most common causes of spinal cord injury, it is important to learn how to properly handle victims of an accident. A first aid training course can equips laypeople with the knowledge and skills at how to manage injured individuals. Improper handling of
victims in an accident can definitely lead to damage to the spinal cord.
Immobilizing the head and neck, and keeping the body well-aligned while rendering first aid to a spinal cord injury victim is crucial at preventing this life-changing condition.