Spine injuries are some of the toughest medical conditions to manage. When the spinal cord is damaged due to whatever reason, the brain can’t send important messages to others parts of the body. It affects important functions of the body including your ability to move, feel, breathe, bladder & bowel control, and sexual functions. Most of the time, it’s difficult to understand what’s causing the spine pain and how to manage it.
If you or a loved one has a spine injury, you shouldn’t delay treating the condition. The experienced spine specialists at Injury Medicine are here to help you. We understand how spinal injuries can lower the quality of your life, and how important it’s to focus on improving the quality of your life. We will create a personalized plan for your spine injury treatment in Spartanburg, SC.
The spine specialists at Injury Medicine are always prepared to work with you and your loved ones by setting realistic goals and providing the best possible medications to help achieve your own optimal independence level. If the goal is to alleviate your spine pain, then it’s time to reach out to our Spartanburg, SC injury clinic at 864-866-PAIN.
The Structure of the Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is one of the most important structures between your brain and body. It extends from the foramen magnum (where it’s continuous with the medulla) to the level of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebrae. The cord is about 40-50 cm in length and 1-5 cm in diameter.
There are two rows of nerve roots emerging on each of its sides. The spinal cord is divided into four regions such as cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. The nerve signals sent through the brain via the spinal cord perform an important job by helping you to move the muscles and feel sensations.
What Is Its Function?
The main function of the spinal cord is to carry nerve signals from various parts of the body to and from the brain. These nerve signals have three important functions such as:
- Transmit Information to the Brain – The spinal cord transmit nerve signals from the other parts of the body to the brain. It helps the brain process sensations like pain and pleasure.
- Transmit Signals From the Brain – The spinal cord carries signals from the brain to the other parts of the body and helps move these parts as well as feel sensations in them. Any damage to the spinal cord will affect how you move and feel sensations.
- Reflex Responses – The spinal cord can control some of the reflexes in the body without involving the brain.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina). Such damages can cause permanent changes in your strength, sensations, and other body functions below the site of the injury. Trauma due to auto accidents & falls, violent blows to the spine region, and some diseases such as Friedreich’s ataxia, polio, and spina bifida can cause spinal injuries.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injury symptoms can vary depending on which part of the cord is damaged. You may feel a sudden decrease or loss of feelings, reflexes, sensations, and muscle movements in the region since the spine will be in shock soon after the injury. The symptoms become severe when the damage is to the higher parts of the spinal cord.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of spinal cord injuries:
- Loss of movement
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Altered or loss of sensations including the ability to feel touch, cold, or heat
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in sexual functions
- Exaggerated reflex activities & spasms
- An intense stinging sensation or pain caused due to the damaged nerve fibers in the spinal cord
As soon as your spine is injured, you may experience some of the following emergency symptoms:
- Weakness or paralysis in any part of the body
- Difficulty in balancing the body and walking
- Impaired breathing soon after the injury or accident
- Loss of sensations in the hands, feet, fingers, or toes
- Twisted back or neck soon after the accident
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Treated?
Spinal cord damage cannot be easily reversed. There are medications and techniques to improve functions of the nerves and promote nerve cell regeneration. The most important thing is to prevent further injury to the region and help improve the quality of life of the patient.
The team at Injury Medicine in Spartanburg, SC is focused on diagnosing the condition and putting together a treatment plan that works for your specific case.
At the Scene of the Accident
Treatments for spinal cord injuries should always begin at the scene of the accident to prevent further damage to the spine area of the patient. Emergency medical personnel will help immediately immobilize your spine and use a rigid neck collar and a rigid carrying board to transport you to the nearest hospital.
In the Emergency Room
Treatment in the emergency room will focus on improving your breathing and preventing any shock. We will also immobilize the neck to prevent further damage to the region. The medical professionals will immobilize the neck to prevent further spinal cord damage.
Ongoing Treatment & Supportive Care
Once your initial condition stabilizes, treatment will focus on preventing secondary issues including respiratory infections, deconditioning, muscle contractures, pressure ulcers, blood clots, and more.
Use of Medications
Medications are used to control muscle spasticity and manage pain after a spine injury. They also can improve bowel and bladder control.
Rehabilitation is important during the early stages of recovery from spinal injuries. Our therapists will help improve your muscle functions and learn new ways to adapt to day-to-day tasks.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Acts of violence
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sports or recreational injuries
- Diseases and other conditions
Call Injury Medicine for Spine Injury Treatment in Spartanburg, SC!
When you have a spine injury for whatever reason, you shouldn’t delay treating the condition. Spinal cord injuries can be debilitating and decrease the quality of your life. The experienced team at Injury Medicine is here to help you get back on your feet and improve the quality of your life. Schedule an appointment by calling Injury Medicine in Spartanburg, SC at 864-866-PAIN to assess and treat your condition.