The Importance of Spinal Evaluation in the Treatment of SCIs

The Importance of Spinal Evaluation in the Treatment of SCIs

The human spine consists of bones arranged in a systematic order known as the vertebrae. The vertebrae have nerve bundles which it protects. Those nerves make it possible for you to move your limbs and perceive pain.

The spine plays various roles, such as supporting the body and its structures, transmitting nerve impulses from sensory organs to the brain, and the brain signals to the effector organs. ChiroPro is a local chiropractor facility in Highland, IL that offers spinal evaluation services and treatment.

Damage to the spine is extremely serious, and should you sustain one, you should seek immediate medical assistance from chiropractor care near you. Failure to receive emergency services can have significant and lasting effects on your daily life. When the spine gets damaged, nerve impulses cannot pass through, resulting in complete loss of mobility and sensation to the body parts below the injured area.

Statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association revealed that there are 17,000 new spinal injuries reported each year, and most of them are as a result of trauma sustained to the patients’ vertebral column.

Such type of trauma affects a person’s spinal cord’s ability to receive and send messages to the body’s control system, thus impairing autonomic and motor function. The data also showed that more than 450,000 Americans are living with SCIs.

Causes

The major causes of spinal injuries are automobile accidents, falls, recreation/sports activities, and violent acts. The most affected age bracket is people aged between 16 to 30, where they account for more than half the injuries. Types of spine injuries include:

  • Thoracic injury – Such body trauma affects the abdomen muscles, thus causing paralysis in the legs.
  • Cervical trauma – This type of damage is severest because the cervical spine is closest to one’s brain.
  • Lumbar spinal trauma – Lumbar injury paralyzes the legs, but people with this kind of injury can walk again.
  • Sacral injury – When the sacral spine is injured, one may lose control of their bladder, legs, and hips.

Signs and Symptoms That Indicate Spinal Problems

  • Walking problems
  • Unnatural head position
  • Headache
  • Neck/back pain, pressure or stiffness
  • Loss of bowels/bladder control
  • Being unable to move your legs or arms
  • Unconsciousness

What to Do If You Suspect That Someone Has an SCI

If you suspect/believe that someone has injured their spine, follow the guidelines below:

  • Call emergency service providers. The earlier they arrive, the better.
  • Avoid moving or disturbing the person unless when it’s necessary. This includes trying to remove their helmet or reposition their head.• Encourage that person to stay still.
  • Perform a CPR to the person if he/she has stopped breathing.

Spinal Evaluation

Upon arrival at the hospital, a complete neurological and physical exam will be done by doctors to give them a full view on whether or not the patient has sustained injuries to their spine. Spine X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are some of the diagnostic tools medical practitioners will use to locate the source of the problem. This will also help them establish how extensive the damage is and develop a treatment plan to prevent complications and manage the injury.

During the examination of a spinal disorder, the whole spine will have to be inspected. Your practitioner will look for surgical scars or swellings, assess for any sign of deformity, and observe your walking for abnormalities. He/she will also conduct a neurovascular examination where your body’s reflexes, power, tone, and sensation will be observed.

Treatment

Treatment for spine problems may either be surgical or non-surgical. Experts will perform surgery when the patient’s spinal cord has been compressed by blood clots, lesions, or herniated discs. Surgical procedures are mostly scheduled for patients who appear to have a progressive neurological condition that is deteriorating. In cases where surgery has failed to repair the damaged spinal cord, the patient’s spine is stabilized to avoid future deformity or pain.

A person’s recovery will depend on how severe the injury is. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for patients with severe spinal damage to regain full functionality of the part below the trauma level. You can prevent damaging your spine by wearing a car seatbelt while driving or protective gear when playing sports.

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