The spinal cord is a part of your central nervous system. The spinal cord connects your brain to your body thereby creating the central nervous system. The rest of your body connects to your spinal cord via a web of nerves.
Types of Injuries
You can suffer a variety of traumas to the spinal cord, vertebrae (the bones that protect the spinal cord), ligaments or discs in the spinal column. Injury to the ligaments, disks or vertebrae can cause back pain, arthritis, inflammation, disk degeneration and other chronic issues. Those issues, like inflammation, can also harm your spinal card. Damage to your actual spinal cord can impact your ability to walk, control your hands or even breathe.
Alcohol is a factor in almost 25 percent of injuries. From motor vehicle accidents to bar fights, alcohol is a common denominator. For the majority of people, car accidents are the biggest cause of spinal injuries. They account for more than 35 percent of all new spinal cord injuries each year. This is likely due to the fact that:
- The car is the primary mode of transportation, so almost everyone has one and uses one every day.
- Many people do not appreciate the high speeds that cars can travel, even a 35 mph accident can cause serious spinal injuries.
The remaining three significant causes are violent acts, athletic injuries, and disease which account for about 24 percent of injuries.
What Happens if You are Injured?
Regardless if the injury is serious or not, any damage to your spinal cord can reduce a variety of bodily functions like walking, talking or breathing. The degree of the effect depends on the nature and location of the injury. The closer the injury is to your spine or brain, the more of your bodily functions that could be affected. For example, an injury to your lower back can affect your legs, bladder control, and sexual function.
What do You do If You are Injured?
If you suffer a back injury, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Once your medical needs are addressed, you may want to speak to a spinal cord injury lawyer. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you could face years of medical bills and physical therapy. A legal settlement can go a long way toward securing your future.