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Common Causes Of A Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is an injury that causes damage to an individual's spinal cord. This damage results in a loss of overall function, which can include feeling, mobility, or both. Each year, around 17,500 individuals in the United States suffer a spinal cord injury. There are a variety of causes. Some involve traumatic impacts, while others are related to underlying medical conditions. Individuals can break their neck or back without injuring their spinal cord. 

This occurs when the vertebrae are damaged, but the nerves making up the spinal cord remain intact. There are many types of spinal cord injuries. The way they affect the body varies depending on where the injury occurred, how complete it was, and other factors. Treatment and physical therapy make a huge difference in the outcome during recovery.

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Blow To The Spine

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A blow to the spine can cause damage and loss of function to the spinal cord. Traumatic blows to the spine occur in a variety of different situations, one of the most common being a car accident. When an individual has sustained a potential back injury, it's important to stabilize them and keep them from moving. Paramedics will typically secure the patient to a stiff board to make sure the injury isn't made worse. Individuals should always get emergency medical care if they believe a blow to the spine might have caused a broken back or spinal cord injury. 

Trauma-related spinal cord injuries occur if a blow causes one or more vertebrae to be suddenly crushed, compressed, dislocated, or fractured. This leads to spinal cord damage, though the exact level of damage will vary depending on the injury. In addition to blows, knife wounds and gunshots that penetrate the spinal cord can cause trauma-related spinal cord injuries. Immediate treatment is integral to the prognosis because further damage can occur if the swelling, inflammation, and possible bleeding aren't controlled.

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Katherine MacAulay
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