Signs Of Spinal Cord Injury: Top Things To Pay Attention To

Written by on March 13, 2019 in News Flash with 0 Comments

Spinal cord injury (SCI) presents itself in a wide number of ways. Injuries are best understood when both cause and the area of it are known. SCI very seriously impacts motion, feeling, and the organs of the body. Symptoms which come from SCI are unique to each case. While on one side, less severe injuries have less symptoms; on the other hand, more severe injuries have completely different symptoms. For the most part, it’s accepted that symptoms improve over time.

Here are some possible symptoms of SCI:

Issues in breathing independently: this may mean taking long periods of breaks to breath, or having to sit still to do so. It may also mean using oxygen from a gas canister, for example.

Weak bladder or bowel functions: this can vary from feel strong urges to use the toilet, to having unexpected accidents without warning.

Body temperature and blood pressure: you may find yourself unable to maintain a temperate body heat; and be either too cold or hot. You may also find yourself with a blood pressure which is too low or high. When you have SCI, your body can lose the ability to regulate these functions.

Blood clotting: blood clots may be an indication of a SCI.

Infections: your body can become more susceptible to infections when you’ve experienced an SCI. noticing infections may help you to detect SCI.

Pain: especially close to the area, which is persistent, and which affects your day-to-day activities is a symptom of SCI.

Sudden muscle spasms: also known as spastic contractions; in which the muscles may suddenly cause movement from one or multiple areas of the body. Knowing about and detecting this soon, may help you to catch another symptom of SCI.

Sensation (feeling) loss: losing sensation from different parts of your body (one side/limb) may also be another symptom to look out for. This can cause difficulty in feeling heat and pressure.

Muscle (control) loss: losing control of muscles which has an impact on your life. This is a common, and serious symptom.

Infertility: both males and females may notice infertility. This can be caused by SCI.

Sexual dysfunction: worsened ability of the reproductive organs can be a sign of SCI.

Tingling: having a tingling feeling in your arms can be caused by SCI.

Alertness: It may be the case that you are less attentive than usual after an injury. In this way, you could spend extra time responding to information or other people.

Treatment:

An innovative spinal cord injury treatment is epidural stimulation. This treatment involves providing a person with an electrical current; which is applied to the lower part of the spinal cord. The electrical current creates a ‘stimulation’ from a chip on the protective coating of the spinal cord. A remote controls the speed and strength of the electrical current. When active, this type of stimulation treatment has seen those with paralysed legs become able to move again.

A study in 2014 by the Reeve Foundation used epidural stimulation to show how four men who lived with SCI regained movements of some muscles. They were also able to stand again. All of the four men had paralysis beneath the level of their injury. It was unlikely they’d make full recoveries. However, the study led by research partners at the University of Louisville observed the four men improve automatic function control and when asked, were able to move toes feet and legs. This is a great contribution to the medical field because it challenges the view that damaged spinal cords cannot be improved, and also in delivering hope to the many millions who live with paralysis from spinal cord injury. It is clear this is a seamless spinal cord injury treatment.

In all, epidural stimulation is an effective spinal cord injury treatment. It not only improves the automatic nerve system, but does so to the motor system.

Outcomes of epidural stimulation:

Well-being: offering an improved quality of life, well-being also improves.

Temperature: as SCI seriously impacts the body’s ability to regulate temperature, it’s a great achievement to regain this control.

Sexuality: having control once more of infertility and avoiding sexual dysfunction is an enhancing feature of epidural stimulation.

Bladder: living without fear of accidents and having the enjoyment of a normal bladder will help you to feel that you have regained control.

Motion: being able to, once more, to move muscles and limbs; which will allow you to feel an enormous sense of progress.

Epidural stimulation rebuilds the bridge between the brain and the spinal cord. Doing this, will address symptoms of either serious or minor spinal cord injuries. It’s been described as a way of “activating spinal circuits”.

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