A spinal cord injury refers to any damage to the spinal cord or the nerves at the base of the spine. These types of injuries often lead to permanent changes in sensation, strength, and other bodily functions below the waist.
The spinal cord can be damaged as a result of car accidents, falls, violent encounters or gunshot wounds, sports injuries, and some diseases or infections. Whenever the vertebrae, ligaments, or spinal discs are damaged, there are traumatic effects on the body.
Spinal cord symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of the spinal cord injury. Patients may or may not have the ability to control their limbs. In complete, severe injuries, the individual will lose all sensory feeling and motor functioning below the spinal cord. The loss of sensation includes the inability to feel heat, cold, or any touch.
There is paralysis that affects all of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. Other patients may also experience paralysis of the arms and hands as well. In less severe injuries, some motor or sensory functioning may exist below the spine, which is referred to as incomplete injuries. There are many varying degrees of injury, but they all are serious in nature, are a reason of concern, and require medical assistance by a professional.
Along with the loss of movement and sensation, patients may experience extreme pain and pressure in the back, head, or neck. Weakness, numbness, and tingling sensations are also common in various parts of the body, including the fingers and toes. Patients may exhibit impaired breathing and difficulty coughing. There may be a loss of bowel and bladder control, changes in sexual functioning, or exaggerated reflex spasms too.
Our health care team will be able to perform the necessary tests to determine the completeness of the injury and provide treatment.
While this is a tremendously difficult experience for an individual, there are new medical advances in research and spinal cord injury treatment options to help those injured lead a normal life. With the assistance of the Center for Pain Management and our range of treatments, people that have suffered a spinal cord injury are able to live prolific and independent lives.
Please contact our office or click here to set up an appointment if you have suffered a spinal cord injury to discuss your treatment options. We will help you through the life-changing event, and put you on the road to recovery.