Most Common Causes and Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 | 2 comments

More than 200,000 individuals are suffering from spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the United States and at least 12,000 more are added to their number annually. Spinal injuries are caused by the severe trauma brought about by motor vehicle crashes, falls, acts of violence (such as gunshot injuries) and sports injuries. The common victims of this paralyzing injury are males aged between 16 and 30 years old.

Our spinal cord, with the brain, forms the Central Nervous System. It is made up of spinal cord nerve segments and is protected by the spinal or vertebral column (also known as the spine or backbone). The Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) surrounds the delicate nerve tissues of our spinal cord, cushioning and protecting it from damage inside the vertebral column.

Millions of nerve fibers actually make up the spinal cord – fibers responsible for transmitting electrical signals from the different parts of the body to the brain and vice-versa. Nerves exiting the spinal cord’s upper section, for instance, control the movement of our arms and our breathing; those nerves that exit our back’s mid and lower sections allow us to control our legs and trunk, sexual function and bowel and bladder movements. Thus, any damage or harm on the spinal cord (even to the spinal or vertebral column) will cause failure in the transmission of signals from the brain to the parts of the body below the injured area, which can result to pain, loss of function of affected part or total paralysis.

A spinal injury is due either to a traumatic or non-traumatic experience. A traumatic injury is caused by a sudden blow which can dislocate, fracture or crush a region or regions of your vertebral column; it can also be caused by a knife or a gunshot wound that pierces and cuts the nerves in the spinal cord. A non-traumatic injury is caused by an illness, such as cancer, arthritis, infection, inflammation or disc collapse of the spine.

Besides lowering your blood pressure and reducing control of body temperature, an injury to the spine also causes chronic pains and the inability to effectively regulate blood pressure. Other effects of the injury, as well as their severity, depend on the region actually affected. Loss of movement and feeling in all limbs (arms and legs) implies quadriplegic (quad is the Latin word for four) or tetraplegic (tetra is a Latin word that means five) injuries. These injuries can also affect the chest muscles which, in turn, can affect our breathing. A paraplegic (para is the Greek word for “half”) injury means loss of movement and sensation in the body’s lower half (including the legs).

Whatever the type of your injury is, its treatment can cost you thousands of dollars annually – money that you can spend for other worthwhile things. If your spinal injury is a result of someone else’s negligent of reckless behavior, know that the law protects your rights as a victim and legally allows you to file a claims lawsuit against the liable party. Hiring a really good lawyer ought to be one your decisions; he or she will explain to you your right and how to effectively fight for it.


  1. Law Offices of Donald D. Guthrie says:

    An injury to the spine can result in very serious side effects. It is important to get the medical attention you need immediately.

  2. says:

    I sent this around, good post

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