What is spinal cord? Why spinal cord injury may cause paralysis and death? The bone marrow functions to convey messages between the brain and spinal cord. Spinal Cord Injury can cause paralysis and has the potential to cause death. That’s why spinal cord injuries need to get medical attention immediately.

Read More: Spinal Cord Injury Specialist & Treatments

Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Why do spinal cord injuries occur?

Spinal cord injury results from trauma or indirect damage to the bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels around the spinal cord. The reason is, this damage has an impact on the loss of bodily functions such as movement or sensitivity in receiving stimuli. This type of injury can occur due to two factors, namely traumatic and non-traumatic factors.

Here are the differences:

  • Traumatic nerve injury. Caused by a shift, broken, or sprained spine due to an accident. For example, falling during activities, experiencing violence, and accidents when driving or exercising.
  • Non-traumatic nerve injury. Caused by conditions or other diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal growth abnormalities from birth, and inflammation of the spine.

A person is at greater risk of developing a spinal cord injury if he is male, aged 16-30 years or more than 60 years, and performs extreme activities.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Spinal cord Injury?

Symptoms of spinal cord injury can appear in whole or in part (local). If it occurs in part, the person has only a slight disturbance in sensory abilities and body movements. Whereas if it occurs thoroughly, the person experiences a loss of sensory ability and difficulty controlling body movements.

Here are three categories of symptoms of decreased sensory abilities and body movements that need to be watched out for:

  • Tetraplegia or quadriplegia. Paralysis in both arms, legs, and chest muscles. That is why sufferers are prone to experiencing shortness of breath.
  • Paraplegia. Paralysis in the lower half of the body (both legs).
  • Triplegia. Paralysis in both legs and one arm.

People with spinal cord injuries can experience different symptoms. But besides losing the ability to control body movements, common symptoms to look out for are headaches, breathing disorders, coughing, loss of control when urinating or large, abnormal head position, body aches, sensory loss (such as not being able to feel heat, cold, or touch), impotence, until fainting.

Spinal cord injury has the potential to cause life-threatening complications. Among others, urination or defecation, pneumonia, blood clots, tense muscles, pain that does not go away, paralysis, until death. Therefore, spinal cord injury should be prevented to minimize the risk of complications. How to be careful when doing activities and use protective equipment when carrying out extreme activities.

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