Spinal Cord Injury: The Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment – In the human body, there is a soft nerve fiber bundle and extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. This part we call the spinal cord and its position is protected by the spine.
These spinal nerves serve to convey the message between the brain and the rest of the body. Because of the function of connecting the brain and other parts of the body, injuries to the spinal cord can result in nerve disorders and organ function in various parts of the body.
The definition of spinal cord injury
The spinal cord Injury is a wound or damage that occurs in the spinal nerves or nerves located at the end of the spinal canal. This injury condition can cause a permanent impact on the strength, sensation, and function of other organ bodies.
The spinal cord has a function to bridge the message signals from the brain to other organs. Based on the types of messages sent, there are two groups of nerve cells, namely the motor nerve group and the sensory nerve group.
The motor nerve group is the nerve cells that carry the signal from the brain to control muscle movement. While the sensory nerve groups are nerve cells carrying signals from the brain to control the position of the limb, as well as sensations associated with pain, cold, heat, and pressure.
Injuries to the spinal cord can affect the motor and sensory functions of the body. From pain, numbness, to paralysis. This will depend on the severity and location of the injury. The severity of the injury is divided into two:
- Thorough or complete. This level of injury involves the loss of all sensory abilities and the ability to control the movements (motor) areas of the injured spinal cord.
- Local or incomplete. It happens when there are still some sensory or motor functions that work. This type of injury has varying degrees of severity.
In addition, paralysis due to spinal cord injuries can be categorized into:
- Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia, which can affect the four members of the motion, chest, and abdomen.
- Paraplegia, which affects the lower limb and pelvic organs.
Spinal cord Injury Causes
Spinal cord injuries may arise due to damage to tissues, bearings, bones, or spinal nerves themselves. Based on the cause, the spinal cord injury is divided into two types, namely traumatic and nontraumatic.
Traumatic spinal cord injury is an injury caused by the shift, fracture, or collapse of the spine that occurs due to an accident, such as:
- Motorized accidents
- Falling on the move
- Exercise accident
- Experiencing violence.
Meanwhile, non traumatic spinal cord injuries are injuries caused by other conditions or diseases, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal growth disorders, and inflammation of the spine.
There are several factors that increase the risk of spinal cord injuries, namely:
- Gender. Most spinal cord injuries occur in men.
- A person aged 16-30 years and 65 years of age is more susceptible to spinal cord injuries.
- Suffer from medical conditions related to bones and joints.
- Perform risky activities, such as extreme sports or driving without safety gear.
- Have defects or abnormalities in bone growth since birth.
Spinal cord injury symptoms and signs
In general, some of the symptoms below may arise due to spinal cord injuries:
- Numbness or tingling.
- Difficulty controlling bowel movements or urination.
- Difficulty walking.
- Loss of ability to move legs or arms (paralyzed).
- Faint or unconscious.
- The symptoms of shock.
- Unnatural position of head.
- Pain, stiffness, or pressure on the neck, back, and limb.
Symptoms arising from spinal cord injuries, depending on where the spinal cord is affected.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
There is no way to restore damage to the spinal nerves. Treatment of spinal cord injuries focuses on preventing further injuries and helps improve the productivity of life.
Immediate medical treatment is crucial to minimize the effects of head and neck trauma. Therefore, the treatment of spinal cord injuries begins when at the scene of the accident. Healthcare practitioners will provide the first treatment as quickly as possible using a hard neck brace and hard board as a base to bring sufferers to the hospital.
Early stage handling (acute)
In the emergency room, the doctor will focus on:
- Maintain patient’s breathing ability
- Preventing shock
- Prevents neck to move (immobilization) to prevent further spinal cord damage
- Avoid possible complications, such as retention of feces and urine, difficulty breathing, disorders of the heart and blood vessels, and formation of vein blood clot in the extremities.
Other treatments for cases of spinal cord injury include:
Intravenous methylprednisolone has been used as a treatment option for acute spinal cord injury (spinal cord). However Metilprednisolone is not recommended for routine use after a spinal injury.
The traction to stabilize your spine, to carry the spine in the right direction or both.
Surgery is necessary to remove bone fragments, foreign objects, herniated disks or broken vertebrae that seem to suppress the spine. Surgery may also be necessary to stabilize the spine to prevent pain or disability in the future.