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What are some effects of a spinal cord injury?

While back pain is a common problem for many people in Charleston, spinal cord injury is a whole other issue that can have a major impact on a person's life. The spinal cord serves many complex functions, and it is easy to take for granted just how important the spinal cord is when it comes to performing routine everyday tasks. So how exactly can a spinal cord injury affect someone's life?

Some people may associate spinal cord injuries with paralysis. Whether a person does suffer paralysis, and how severe it is, largely depends on which level of the spine was injured. For example, an injury that damages the high-cervical nerves, which are closest to the brain, is the most severe kind of spinal cord injury. This can result in complete paralysis of all four limbs, and it can result in the person not being able to breathe on their own, as well as having difficulty speaking. A person who suffers this type of spinal cord injury will need help with almost all daily activities.

At the other end of the spectrum, an injury to the sacral nerves, which are at the bottom of the spinal column, will result in less severe problems. However, even this type of spinal cord injury can mean permanent disability resulting from some function loss in the lower body, including the bowel and bladder function.

Regardless of where on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the injured person will probably suffer some loss of movement or control over their body. Most spinal cord injury victims will require some level of long-term medical care. When the injury results from an accident caused by another person's negligence, the spinal cord injury victim can pursue compensation from the party who caused the accident.

Source: Shepherd Center, "Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Levels of Injury," Accessed on March 21, 2016

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