Spinal Cord Damage Symptoms

spineThose who have suffered from spinal cord damage may find that they have a substantial amount of trouble trying to move their limbs. The ability that a person has to control the limbs after suffering from one of these injuries depends on a number of factors. First, it will depend on the type and the severity of damage. It also depends on the location of the injury on the spinal cord. Doctors have several different terms to provide shorthand to the type and severity of the spinal cord damage. A complete injury means that nearly all sensory feeling and the ability to control movement below the area of injury on the spinal cord is gone. An incomplete injury is one that leaves the patient with some sensory or motor functions beneath the site of the injury. There are a number of different degrees of incomplete injury that determine the amount of feeling and motion that a person may have. In addition, paralysis from spinal cord injuries can be referred to as quadriplegia or paraplegia. Those who have paraplegia are paralyzed on all or part of the trunk, as well as the legs and pelvic organs. Quadriplegics have no movement for their trunk, legs, pelvic organs, hands, and arms. The healthcare team puts the patients through a variety of different neurological tests to determine their neurological level and completeness of the injury.

What Are the Symptoms?

The following are some of the most common types of symptoms associated with spinal cord damage. Patients may experience one or more of these signs and symptoms. They may suffer from loss of movement in part of the body, or they may have a loss of sensation. This can result in the loss of the ability to feel cold and heat as well. The majority of patients may also suffer from loss of bladder control. They may also have changes in their sexual function and sensitivity. Patients may also experience feelings of pain caused by damage to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord. In some cases, patients may also suffer from difficulty breathing and coughing. Those who have just suffered an injury could find that they have extreme pain, or pressure, in the back, neck, or head. They could suffer from weakness and lack of coordination, difficulty walking, or loss of sensation in the hands, fingers, toes, or feet. In some cases, the injury can actually be easy to see visibly, such as a twisted neck or unnaturally positioned back. Anyone who believes he, she, or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury, even if it seems minor, should get in touch with a medical professional immediately. This could result in calling 911 or taking a trip to the emergency room. Getting help right away can help to improve the prognosis for many patients. It is important to remember that moving a person who has a spinal cord injury is dangerous. Moving the patient improperly could actually cause the injury to be worse. Instead of trying to move the individual, it is better to keep them still and to call emergency medical assistance. The only time it is advisable to move a patient is when he or she is in greater danger if they stay where they are. For example, moving a victim from a burning vehicle or a busy roadway may be necessary.

What Causes Spinal Cord Damage?

Many different factors can contribute to and cause injury to the spinal cord. Some of the most common include motor vehicle accidents and slip and fall injuries. Damage to the back can be quite severe and cause permanent life changes. Patients should always seek help from the appropriate medical professionals. Source:
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