Sudden and traumatic blows, such as those experienced in car accidents, may cause people to suffer damage to their spines. Ranging from minor to severe and even catastrophic, spinal cord injuries may result in short- and long-term effects.
Suffering a spinal cord injury may have life-changing, if not life-threatening, effects. Knowing what to expect from their injuries and recoveries may help those who experience such trauma to cope with and adjust to their new normal.
Treating spinal cord injuries
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, emergent treatment of spinal cord injuries focuses on limiting the damage and restoring functions diminished or lost due to the trauma. To this end, people may require respiratory support and the administration of certain medications. In some cases, those who suffer such injuries may also require surgical interventions to relieve the effects of the injury or secondary complications.
Living with a spinal cord injury
According to the Mayo Clinic, those who suffer spinal cord injuries may also require ongoing medical care. This may include treatment for secondary conditions resulting from their injuries, such as bladder issues, blood clots or respiratory infections. Additionally, after suffering spinal cord injuries, people often require extensive rehabilitation with teams that include rehabilitation nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, dieticians, recreation therapists and social workers.
Rehabilitative therapies for spinal cord-involved injuries typically focus on maintaining and strengthening injury victims’ existing muscle control and function. Additionally, rehabilitation may help those who suffer spinal cord injuries to redevelop their fine motor skills and to learn techniques they may use to help them accomplish their daily tasks.