× Contact
(866) 590-0601

Spinal Cord Injuries

Why Are Spinal Cord Injuries Serious?

Spinal Cord

Spinal cord injuries hinder your ability to move freely, drastically impacting your quality of life. They also can lead to varying levels of disability when you lose motor, sensory and autonomic nervous functions because of your injury. In fact, the odds of dying prematurely increase two to five times when you’ve had a spinal cord injury.

Because of the serious nature of injuries to your spine, visit a top spine specialist at Premier Brain & Spine as soon as possible after your accident. Following a thorough exam, your NJ orthopedics expert may discover any number of spine conditions that affect the health of your spinal cord. Your doctor recommends the most appropriate back pain procedure.

What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?

Your spinal cord is a critical part of your central nervous system, along with your brain. It functions as a highway for messages. From here, the peripheral nervous system translates messages into actions and sensations for your body. A simple thing like scratching an itchy nose, for example, requires several to-and-fro messages before you sense the itchiness and your hand acts to scratch your nose.

When your spinal cord sustains an injury, the messages don’t get relayed properly, causing you to lose control over your body’s movements and functions. Common traumatic events that lead to spinal cord injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Falling from a great height
  • Domestic violence
  • Being the victim of a violent crime
  • Sports injuries
  • Diving
  • Trampoline accidents

What Increases the Risks of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Injuries to the spinal cord are more common among men aged 16 to 30 and nearly twice as common than in women. Underlying, untreated back problems also compromise your spinal cord. At the spine pain centers in NJ, doctors uncover the risks that may help you avoid serious injuries. Common back problems that can lead to spinal cord injuries include:

Getting treatment at a top spine and neuro center for these back problems reduces the chances that an accident necessarily results in a major spinal cord injury. A strong, healthy back is more able to withstand minor falls or sports-related injuries.

What Are Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Spinal Cord

Signs that you may have a back injury usually begin with a backache. Your injury dictates the symptoms, and the location of the injury governs your limitations. In general, you must see an NJ spine center doctor immediately if you experience symptoms that include:

  • Numbness and tingling in your extremities
  • Loss of sensation in your hands or feet
  • Intense stinging sensations
  • Severe pain or pressure in your head, back or neck
  • Inability to move certain parts of your body
  • Sudden onset of paralysis
  • Feeling weak without another reason
  • Losing control over your bladder and bowel
  • Problems walking or keeping your balance
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs
  • Changes in libido or sexual function
  • Frequent infections
  • Chronic muscle pain

Symptoms may appear on one or both sides of your body. The most severe injuries result in quadriplegia, the result of damage to the cervical or neck section of your spinal cord. Paraplegia occurs when you lose all sensation and movement in the lower half of the body, usually due to injury in your thoracic or mid-back spinal cord.

Is There a Cure for Spinal Cord Injuries?

Currently, there isn’t any permanent way to reverse an injury done to your spinal cord. At best, your spine specialist helps you manage your symptoms with medications and immobilization devices to stabilize your spine and neck.

Rehabilitative care stabilizes your condition with breathing machines and treatments for circulatory and respiratory problems. You learn how to relieve your bladder and bowels in your current condition. Physical therapy sessions teach you exercises to strengthen your core muscles. Spine surgery may be necessary to correct other back problems that are causing you pain. Surgery options include:

Keep tabs on your condition, as you’re now more susceptible to other forms of diseases and infections. Prevention is the best action to take, so you don’t end up losing control of your body. To reduce your risks of a spinal cord injury, contact your nearby top spine specialist the instant your back hurts.

Updated on Jul 27, 2022 by Dr. David Wells-Roth (Neurosurgeon) of Premier Brain & Spine

Premier Brain & Spine
10 Parsonage Rd, Suite 208A
Edison, NJ 08837
(732) 258-0190