The spine runs from the base of the neck to the tailbone. The bones protect the spinal cord and nerves that run through the center of the spine. There are discs between the bones that are soft tissue that allows the spine to move freely and they protect the nerves. The nerves receive messages from the brain which allow us to walk, talk, sit, stand, and function as normal human beings.
When the spine is injured, either by impact or illness, the nerves no longer function as they were designed to. The soft discs can be herniated (bulging) and the gel inside can leak out. The one thing all spine injuries have in common is pain. When the spine is injured, and the nerves are pressed on, exposed, or damaged, they send pain signals to the brain, and it can be extreme.
Below we will explain a few complications that often arise from spinal injuries. This is not the entirety of the complications. After a spinal injury, your body will be a work in process. Regaining mobility and functions that are lost due to a spinal injury may be a difficult process and, in some cases, it may be impossible.
To put this in the simplest terms, this is a serious lowering of the blood pressure and is caused by an imbalance automatic control. It is very serious and could last for months.
This is commonly called heart disease. When a person has suffered a traumatic injury to the spinal cord, the blood flow to the heart usually slows. There are many other factors that will be considered, such as blockage in the veins that the body is trying to use and its ability to do so in its damaged condition. People do not usually associate a heart attack or stroke being part of the after-effects of a spinal injury, but it is a reality for many victims.
The core temperature of the body may be unresponsive due to the nerve damage sustained. This can lead to hypothermia as well as hyperthermia.
A secondary issue that goes with the temperature problems is the patients disrupted ability to sweat. While some patients sweat excessively, the inability to sweat is more common. Again, this is due to the nerves damaged in the spine and the body adjusting to it.
This is a very common and very serious problem associated with spinal cord injuries. In fact, 67% of patients with acute spinal cord injuries suffer from respiratory problems within days of their initial injury. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, more than 22% of those patients will go into respiratory failure.
There are many more physical problems the patients could experience. There are also the skeletal issues they will face. The lack of mobility is a big issue. They also could face:
- Sexual problems
- Pressure sores
- Communication problems
- Loss of abilities for personal care
People with a spinal injury may live a long life, but their life will most likely be permanently altered. They will have to learn a new way to live. With hard work and dedication, they can succeed, but they will require professional help for the rest of their lives.
For more information, speak to our spinal cord injury attorney today.