Spinal cord injuries are among the most dangerous type of injury you should avoid. In fact, there are few bodily injuries that are as devastating as spinal cord injuries. Depending on where the injury is located along the spinal cord as well as the degree of the injury, it could lead to you being in life-altering challenges, such as being confined permanently to a wheelchair or paralysis.
The spinal cord, which carries messages back and forth between the nerves that run throughout your body and brain, is easily among the most delicate parts of your body. While it might be difficult to restore it completely after suffering a spinal cord injury, a chiropractor is, fortunately, trained to provide a non-invasive treatment.to help individuals with spinal cord injuries to improve their spinal health.
In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about the injury, some practical steps to prevent it, and the role of chiropractic care in your recovery process.
What are spinal cord injuries?
Spinal cord injuries are damage to your spinal cord. As mentioned above, your spinal cord is a collection of tissues and nerves that are housed in the vertebrae. It is in charge of passing on signals from your body to your brain and vice versa.
The vertebra is the vertical arrangement of hollow bones protecting the spinal cord. It takes the bullet for your spinal cord, receiving every impact on your spine. With that being said, there is a limit to the amount of impact it can take.
After a traumatic impact on your spine, such as an automobile accident impact, your vertebra might get fractured, and the fractured bones then apply pressure onto the spine, injuring it. Hence, spinal cord injuries might also warrant lower back pain treatments.
Spinal cord injuries can cause severe physical trauma. Hence, if you have suffered some form of spinal cord injury, it can make it hard to move large bodily areas, perceive pain, or make you less mobile.
Types of spinal cord injuries
No matter how you injured your spinal cord, there are two fundamental classifications of spinal cord injuries. They are
1. Complete spinal cord injuries
Complete spinal cord injuries cause permanent damage to the affected portion of the spinal cord and might result in the loss of sensory and motor functions at the injured site and below. It affects both sides of the body and the injury is commonly the result of major trauma which may cause permanent damage.
With complete spinal cord injuries, both sides of the body will bear the burden of the injury, resulting in some cases, paralysis of all four limbs or the lower region of the body.
2. Incomplete spinal cord injuries
Incomplete spinal cord injuries means the ability of the spinal cord to or from the brain is not completely lost. The rest of the body below the location of the injury might not be able to feel or move.
Gradings of spinal cord injuries
According to the American Spinal Injury Association, there is a scale called the ASIA SCI grading scale that helps to measure the severity of spinal cord injuries. The ASIA SCI grading scale classifies spinal cord injuries into five grades. They are:
1. Grade A: Complete spinal cord injury with the inability to feel or move below the neurological level.
2. Grade B: Incomplete spinal cord injury with the inability to move but reduced ability to feel below the neurological level.
3. Grade C: In complete spinal cord injury with reduced ability to move below the neurological level. Lesser muscles can act against gravity.
4. Grade D: Incomplete spinal cord injury with reduced ability to move below the neurological level. More muscles can act against gravity as compared to grade c.
5. Grade E: Normal ability to feel and move.
The role of chiropractic care in spinal cord injuries
Chiropractic care offers non-conventional treatment solutions involving the neuromusculoskeletal structure. Hence, spinal cord injuries will benefit from it. With the chiropractors’ comprehensive understanding of the neuromusculoskeletal system and their extensive training, they are able to alleviate the pressure on your spinal cord, improve blood flow to the injured area, and reduce overall bodily pain, thus encouraging the body to heal on its own.
The chiropractors at Healing Hands will also prescribe spinal cord injury rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy based on the degree of the spinal cord injury to do at home so as to stretch and strengthen the targeted muscle groups.
How to prevent spinal cord injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can happen anywhere. If you are driving, always wear a seatbelt and pay attention to the road. Sudden braking can cause whiplash, which can damage your vertebra. If you are home, ensure that you keep your home clean and tidy so that you can prevent unnecessary slips and falls. Avoid extreme sports, such as bungee jumping, as they increase the risk of getting spinal cord injuries. At the end of the day, it is impossible to ensure that you are kept safe. However, there are some general practices that you can ensure to prevent unnecessary spinal cord injuries.
You do not have to live in constant fear of spinal cord injuries. Just be alert and safe when conducting certain activities. Making sure you are always in the right posture is also another great way to prevent spinal cord injuries.
Nevertheless, chiropractic care is a vital aspect of recovering from an injury. Here at Healing Hands Chiropractic, we offer more than just spinal manipulations. With other treatment procedures, such as physical therapy and electrical muscle stimulation, you will be on your way to recovery. So, book an appointment, free yourself with any spinal pain, and enjoy a headache-free life with us today!