Spinal cord injuries result from serious accidents
Your spinal cord is comprised of a bundle of nerves that connects your brain to other parts of your body. These nerves are closed in by the bones of your spine. Because your spine holds these important nerves, any injury to your spine can lead to serious complications.
Spinal cord injuries can result from serious accidents such as car accidents, violent injuries, trampoline accidents, complications during childbirth and sports injuries. Typically, the closer to your neck that a spinal cord injury occurs, the more serious it is.
Many times when you experience a spinal cord injury, you lose the ability to control or feel anything below the level of your injury. These are called complete injuries. If you have an incomplete injury, you will still have some movement or feeling below the level of your spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries can have more symptoms that affect other organs. These symptoms may include:
- Problems breathing (in injuries higher up on the spine)
- Unsteady heart rate or blood pressure
- Problems digesting food
- Bowel incontinence
- Urinary incontinence
Rehabilitation can help you recover abilities
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, rehabilitation experts will help you improve how well you can move and take care of yourself. How much you can expect to improve depends on the location and severity of your spinal cord injury. At Main Line Health, we understand that each patient is different and requires personalized care.
Your team of physical, occupational and speech therapists will design exercises to help you regain or improve your abilities. They will also teach you how to use assistive devices and perform daily activities on your own. By being an active participant in your rehabilitation, you can make better progress in recovering from a spinal cord injury.
Rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury can be slow, with many steps between the hospital and going home. You and your family will also work closely with social workers and counselors to learn coping skills and techniques to stay positive throughout rehabilitation.