The spinal cord acts as a messenger for your body. It relays information from your brain to the rest of your body and back to your brain. Your brain and spinal cord together make up the Central Nervous System (CNS). The main functions of the central nervous system are to:
The spinal cord plays an important role in muscle and sensory input. Any kind of injury to your spinal cord can cause severe damage to your physical functioning.
Your spinal cord acts as the primary message pathway between your brain and all the other nervous systems of your body. It receives sensory information from the skin, joints, and muscles of the trunk, arms, and legs, which it then transports to the brain. It carries messages downward from the brain to the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System).
The main function of the PNS is to connect the CNS to your body, serving as a relay between your brain and spinal cord. Your spinal cord also contains motor neurons which are responsible for voluntary movements.
The spinal cord is divided into four sections: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each section of your spine has a different role to play, and the type and severity of your spinal cord injury will depend on the part of the spine that is affected.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury: Causes a total loss of all motor and sensory functions below the injured section. More than 50% of all Spinal Cord Injuries are complete, and both sides of the body are affected.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: Allows a person to move partially, below the injury level. It is also called Incomplete Tetraplegia and accounts for 40.8% of all Spinal Cord injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury treatments aim at preventing further damage to the injury. It provides relief to the patient, helping him or her return to normal life.
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, for example, and injured your spinal cord, emergency personnel will immobilise the spine to avoid any further trauma. Once you’re admitted to the Emergency Room or a Spine Injury Centre, you will be treated with different medications, immobilisation, and surgical methods. This will help stabilise your spine and prevent further injury.
Once you’ve been treated at the initial stages, the focus will shift on preventing secondary problems like:
Rehabilitation specialists will help you strengthen your muscle function, redevelop your motor skills, and learn techniques to accomplish your daily tasks with minimal help.
Apart from this, you’ll be introduced to new technologies that will make coping simpler for you. Automated wheelchairs, robotic gait training, electronic applications etc are some of the newest technologies to help you get back to your normal life.
This #WorldSCIDay, consult your doctor for the best possible treatment and rehabilitation method for your #SpinalCordInjury.