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Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Spinal cord injuries can result from accidents, falls, or specific medical conditions. The impact of such injuries varies based on the location and extent of damage within the spinal cord.

The human spinal cord is typically a bundle of nerves that helps to carry the messages between the brain and the rest of the body parts for various reasons, such as sensation and movement. It extends from the lower part of the brain to the lower back.

Suppose this tight bundle of nerves gets damaged; in that case, a spinal cord injury can cause temporary or permanent changes in sensation, strength, movement, and other body functions below the side of the damage.

Cervical Spine Injury Symptoms

The severity of the cervical spinal cord injury can cause the extent of the disability, which may cause paralysis to the body and affect limbs badly. Paralysis can affect your legs and lower body. 

Depending on the severity of the damage to an individual, such injuries can damage a few, many, or all of the nerve fibers that cross the injury site. Complete recovery is also possible with the chance that no nerve cells can lead to the death of an individual.

Below listed are some of the symptoms of such injuries:

  • Loss of movement
  • Pain in the neck, head, and back
  • Paralysis may occur immediately or develop over time
  • Numbness, tingling
  • Loss or change in the sensation in feet and hands.
  • The unnatural position of the head or spine

Immediate Treatments For Spine Injuries

For severe or significant injuries, emergency surgery is typically preferred as surgery can address the damage in the spinal cord from broken bones, damaged tissues, or blood clots.

As per some research, it has been observed that corticosteroid injections can help in such injuries. 

The medication should be started within at least eight hours after these injuries occur. It may help to: 

  • Improve the blood flow,
  • Reduce inflammation,
  • Preserve nerve function

Surgery can help to evaluate the injured spinal cord, release pressure from the affected areas, stabilize the fractured backbone, and manage other accidental injuries.

Cervical Spine Injury Treatment

Cervical spine ligament injury treatment may include:

  • Medical management and observation in the intensive care unit (ICU).
  • Medicines that help to decrease swelling, such as corticosteroids.
  •  A mechanical ventilator, a breathing machine, helps to breathe.
  • A tube is placed into the bladder to drain the urine into a collection bag called a bladder catheter.
  • A feeding tube is placed through the nostril to the stomach to provide extra calories or nutrition.

The significant injury requires long-term hospitalization to recover and rehabilitation. A healthcare team, including therapists, nurses, and other specialists, works together to control the pain and monitor all other activities, such as body temperature, blood pressure, heart function, and nutritional status.

Following are some alternative treatments to recover an individual from injuries:

Breathing Exercise

This approach can effectively work for an individual suffering from spinal injuries as it helps improve respiratory function, enhancing lung capacity and achieving optimal well-being.

These injuries can primarily affect the muscles responsible for breathing, leading to respiratory complications. Regular breathing exercises can strengthen the muscles around the respiratory system and improve the lung’s functionality.

Acupuncture

It is a simple, inexpensive, low-risk factor therapy compared to the conventional medicinal approach. Studies have shown that the specific puncturing skin can generate a chemical response that improves the blood flow from the cells. 

Injuries related to the spinal cord affect the sensory area of the brain, and senses may not be able to reach the brain correctly. Regular acupuncture treatment can show positive results for individuals suffering from such injuries.

Biomagnetism 

It is a safe and natural approach that balances the natural pH of the human body to achieve optimal health. Regarding spinal injuries, biomagnetism therapy is used to understand the neural changes that may occur after an accident or injury. 

Some disruption in signaling and electrical activity can happen in the nervous system. Biomagnetic pair therapy non-invasively detects and maps the magnetic field related to the neural activity in the human brain and spinal cord.

Biomagnetism therapy can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of different rehabilitation therapies specifically aimed at promoting functional recovery in case of spinal cord injuries.

It monitors the charges in neural activity, so it is a beneficial approach in such cases.

Benefits Of Biomagnetism Therapy

Biomagnetic therapy claims a range of potential benefits from this modality. Some of the potential benefits that have been suggested are as follows:

  • Pain Relief and Inflammation Reduction,
  • Balancing the Body’s Energy Field,
  • Addressing Pathogens and Infections,
  • Supporting Emotional Well-being,
  • Alternative Approach for Chronic Conditions

As per the survey and research, this therapy requires further studies and advancements to develop its potential in diagnosing and treating spin-related injuries thoroughly.

Herbal and Natural Remedies

These remedies are typically used during the traditional medication for spine injuries and can relieve pain and inflammation. The following are some of them:

Turmeric: The active compound in turmeric, named curcumin, has some anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce pain and inflammation related to such injuries. 

Ginger: It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to eliminate pain. 

Lavender Essential Oil: It has soothing properties and helps to relax and calm. It may help to relieve the pain.

Arnica is a homeopathic remedy used as a gel or cream to reduce bruising and swelling.

Epsom Salt Baths: Taking a warm bath by adding some Epsom salt helps to relax the muscles and reduce pain.

 

Dietary Supplements

Additional dietary supplements can be crucial in supporting recovery from such injuries and promoting overall health performance. A balanced diet, in conjunction with the wise use of supplements, can help heal.

Some commonly used supplements are protein supplements, Omega-3 fatty acids, collagen supplements, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, vitamin C, vitamin D, and Magnesium. For such accessories, patients need to add some protein, casein, and plant-based supplements that can help to meet their requirements and support tissue healing.

Physical Exercise

It is one of the essential parts of the rehabilitation and recovery of people suffering from spine injuries. The healthcare profession suggests the type and intensity of the exercise based on the specific nature and severity of pain as they are aware of the needs and limitations of any individual.

Rest and limited movement are required in the initial treatment to allow proper healing. As gradual recovery is observed, gentle exercise and training are introduced to the patients. 

Risk and Precaution

  • Recovery from such injuries requires careful management, which can prevent further complications such as Avoiding heavy lifting and sudden movements.
  • Try maintaining proper posture while standing, walking, sleeping, or during daily activities to reduce the pressure in the spine or damaged areas.
  • Initially, they prefer limited movements to allow a proper healing process, which can gradually increase. 
  • Some twists and bends can strain the spine, so avoid such movement.
  • Strengthen the core muscle to support the spine and reduce the risk of further injury.
  • Don’t hurry; take your time and gradually return to your previous activities and 

The Final Takeaway

Several alternative therapies can be essential in managing and reducing symptoms associated with sports injuries, such as acupuncture, physical exercise, dietary changes, biomagnetism therapy, or herbal and natural remedies that can support the spine, promote relaxation, improve flexibility, and enhance overall well-being. 

However, it is also essential to carefully consider these therapies by consulting your healthcare professional, as their efficiency and effectiveness depend on the severity of the pain. Individuals may improve the quality of their lives by combining these approaches with their regular medication treatment.

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