Spinal Cord Injury : Type, Complications, Exercise and Treatment

HomeDiseaseSpinal Cord Injury : Type, Complications, Exercise and Treatment

Spinal Cord Injury: You might have heard about diseases like paralyzes and polio. These ailments stop the function of many body parts and most of the time leave people unable to walk. Injury in the backbone and spinal cord also causes paralysis and affected body parts stop working. In this article, you will come to know about spinal cord injury its effects and after deads.

What is Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is the most important and sophisticated part of our body. This is inside the backbone which is made up of small vertebrae. This connects our brain to the body. It has 31 pairs inside it. These 31 are divided into 4 parts viz. Cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral.

Cervical consists of 4 pair, thoracic 12, lumbar 5 and sacral 5. There is one more pair too that is called coccygeal and supposed to be the part of sacral.

The spinal cord actually is the cluster of nerves. It works like a telephone wire which carries messages from the brain to our body in the form of signals and body to brain. Our pains pleasures all resend to the brain by this spinal cord.

It sends two types of messages motor and sensory functions. When we want to move our body parts it sends motor function signal when want to feel something by touch then our brain uses sensor signals.

A liquid alike brain is found in the spinal cord which protects it from any kind of harm and injury. This liquid is called cerebrospinal.

Injury in the Spinal Cord or Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury Type Exercise Treatment

Spinal cord injury is not a simple injury, this causes sensational loss and hinders the working of those parts just like in a paralytic attack. Sometimes a simple injury or damage may paralyze the body.

Sensory functions and mobility of the body stop working in spinal cord injury. The loss depends on the level of injury. As we have discussed already that it is divided into parts so wherever there is damage the parts below it do not work.

If the injury is on the waist then feet do not work and if the injury is on the neck then hands and feet both do not work.

Causes of spinal cord injury

  • Road accident
  • Sports injury
  • Gunshot
  • Falls
  • Dive in low water level


Effects of Spinal Injury on Body

How much damage this injury has caused to the person it depends on the level and type of the injury. Upper levels cause more damage to the body than lower levels.

  • If the injury is on the cervical level(c1 – c8) then the damage is huge. Both of the hands, feet, legs, waist, chest, bowel, bladder and genitals stop working. This type of injury is called quadri-paralysis. Some exceptions are there where instead of both hands, one hand stops working, this injury is called tetra- paralysis.
  • If the injury is on the upper level of cervical (c1-c4), no movement is possible in both the hands and feet even sensation and control of bowel and bladder is lost.
  • Injury on the c5-c8 level causes loss of power in hands but the person can lift the hands. Though there is no power in triceps so the patient cannot move wrist and fingers.
  • Loss of sensation and power occurs on feet, hips, stomach, bowel, bladder, and genitals if the injury is on lumber.
  • Damage on thoracic level (ti-t5)affects the lower part of the body like feet, legs, bowel, bladder, and genitals.
  • The above-mentioned effect occurs when the injury is on the lower thoracic part of the spinal (t6-t12). It affects legs, bowel, bladder, and genitals.


Complete or Incomplete Spinal Injury?

When it comes to spinal cord injury the question of its type also arises. There are two types of injury: complete or incomplete.

  1. Incomplete injury: incomplete injury means damage is not that much severe. A little power to transfer messages remains there in this type of injury. Due to this patient can feel or has little sensation and body parts can be moved somehow.
  2. Complete injury: In this type of Injury, no sensation can be traced and no signal can be passed.


Complications after spinal cord injury

it’s quite clear that body paralyzes after spinal cord injury. After this injury, lots of complications arise. There are some problems which keep on arising again and again.

1. Bedsore: Danger of wounds and sores always persists because the mobility of the affected person is very less or zero. The patient most of the time keep on lying. The patient doesn’t have any sensation so pain cannot be realized. If we sit in a particular position for a long time then blood collects at that place and circulation ends up.

It hurts our body making a sore there. Normally our body alarms by pain but spinal cord patients don’t have any sensation or can’t feel pain so sores are common.

It’s the duty of caretaker or nurses of the patients that patients should not sit or lie down in one position for a long time. This precaution is the only remedy for this dangerous problem.positions should be changed from time to time while lying or sitting. Even in the night position should be changed every two hours.

Nowadays waterbeds and air mattresses are also available but care is essential even after these things.

2. Tightness and spasticity: tightness and spasm are quite common after spinal cord injury. Medicines are available in the market for spasm but regular exercise is a better way to get rid of Spasticity.

3. Urine infection: artificial methods of urination like a catheter or CIC have to be adopted after spinal cord injury as there is no control over the bladder. These methods most of the times are not safe and cause urine infection. Change of catheter at proper intervals and proper intake of water is the best remedy. If infection occurs, consult a doctor and take proper medicines.


Exercise After Spinal Cord Injury (Physiotherapy)

  • Regular exercise is essential after an injury to recover, look after and keep the problems away. Sometimes recovery is possible by exercise.
  • A patient cannot do exercise in the beginning so caretaker should help in exercises.
  • Consult a doctor and take the help of a professional physiotherapist before starting exercises.
  • Yoga and Pranayam are also good remedies.


Treatment of spinal cord injury

Unfortunately, there is no authentic treatment of this injury until now.

  • You might have heard about stem cell transplantation, many have tried it and few get some sensational recovery but nobody could get complete recovery.
  • Scientists and doctors all over the world are trying to get the treatment through stem cells and sometimes hopes persist that good results will come.
  • Some people are taking ayurvedic and homeopathic treatments but no news of mobility and full recovery can be received.


Friends we have tried to impart the knowledge about spinal cord injury, We will continue our efforts to impart the knowledge in detail. We will try to share stories of some affected people who are living a good and exemplary life even after this injury. If you have special information, suggestions, experiences, and treatment about this injury please do share. Nobody knows which remedy could be good for someone.

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