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The Top 10 Spinal Cord Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Nurse Vicky

 

The Top 10 Spinal Cord Injuries and How to Prevent Them

 

The spinal cord is an integral part of the human body, serving as a pathway for messages between the brain and the rest of the body. However, injuries to the spinal cord can cause devastating consequences, such as paralysis and loss of sensation.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, approximately 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases occur in the United States each year.

While there are many different types of spinal cord injuries, some are more common than others. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 spinal cord injuries and how to prevent them.

 The Top 10 Spinal Cord Injuries

 

 Spinal Fractures

 

Spinal fractures are one of the most common types of spinal cord injuries. They can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a fall, a car accident, or a sports injury. Spinal fractures can cause severe pain, limited mobility, and loss of sensation. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the fracture.

 

Herniated Discs

 

A herniated disc occurs when a disc in the spinal cord slips out of place and puts pressure on the nerves. This can cause pain, weakness, and loss of sensation in the affected area. Herniated discs can occur due to age, injury, or repetitive motion. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

 

Spinal Cord Compression

 

Spinal cord compression occurs when there is pressure on the spinal cord, which can lead to pain, weakness, and loss of sensation. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a tumor or a herniated disc. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

 

Spinal Cord Contusions

 

Spinal cord contusions occur when there is a bruise or swelling in the spinal cord. This can occur due to trauma, such as a car accident or a sports injury. Spinal cord contusions can cause pain, limited mobility, and loss of sensation. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

 

 Spinal Cord Lacerations

 

Spinal cord lacerations occur when there is a tear in the spinal cord. This can occur due to trauma, such as a gunshot or a stab wound. Spinal cord lacerations can cause severe pain, limited mobility, and loss of sensation. Treatment options may include surgery and rehabilitation.

 

 Central Cord Syndrome

 

Central cord syndrome occurs when there is damage to the center of the spinal cord. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a fall or a sports injury. Central cord syndrome can cause weakness, loss of sensation, and difficulty with fine motor skills. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

 

 Brown-Séquard Syndrome

 

The brown-Séquard syndrome occurs when there is damage to one side of the spinal cord. This can occur due to trauma, such as a car accident or a sports injury. The brown-Séquard syndrome can cause weakness, loss of sensation, and difficulty with fine motor skills on one side of the body. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

 

 Cauda Equina Syndrome

 

Cauda equina syndrome occurs when there is damage to the bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a herniated disc or a tumor. Cauda equina syndrome can cause severe pain, loss of sensation, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Treatment options may include surgery and rehabilitation.

 

Anterior Cord Syndrome

 

Anterior cord syndrome occurs when there is damage to the front of the spinal cord. This can occur due to trauma, such

 Posterior Cord Syndrome

 

Posterior cord syndrome occurs when there is damage to the back of the spinal cord. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a tumor or a stroke. Posterior cord syndrome can cause loss of sensation, difficulty with coordination, and difficulty with fine motor skills. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

 

How to Prevent Spinal Cord Injuries

 

While some spinal cord injuries may be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury.

 

Wear Protective Gear

 

If you are participating in sports or engaging in other activities that could lead to a spinal cord injury, be sure to wear protective gear. This may include a helmet, pads, or other protective equipment.

 

Practice Safe Driving

 

Car accidents are a common cause of spinal cord injuries. To reduce your risk of injury, practice safe driving habits such as obeying traffic laws and wearing your seatbelt.

 

 Use Caution When Using Machinery

 

If you work with heavy machinery, be sure to follow all safety guidelines and use caution at all times. This may include wearing protective gear and ensuring that the machinery is in good working order.

 

 Maintain Good Posture

 

Poor posture can put unnecessary strain on your back and increase your risk of injury. Be sure to maintain good posture when sitting, standing, and lifting heavy objects.

 

Exercise Regularly

 

Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles and reduce your risk of injury. Be sure to engage in physical activity on a regular basis, but be careful not to overexert yourself.

 

Take Precautions When Diving

 

Diving into shallow water can cause severe spinal cord injuries. To reduce your risk of injury, always check the depth of the water before diving and avoid diving into shallow water.

 

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

 

Alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment and increase your risk of injury. To reduce your risk of spinal cord injury, avoid drinking or using drugs before engaging in activities that could lead to injury.

Conclusion

 

Spinal cord injuries can have devastating consequences, but many can be prevented. By taking steps to reduce your risk of injury, such as wearing protective gear, practicing safe driving, and maintaining good posture, you can help ensure that you stay healthy and avoid spinal cord injuries.

If you do experience a spinal cord injury, seek medical attention right away and follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan. With proper care and rehabilitation, many people are able to recover from spinal cord injuries and regain their mobility and independence.

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