6 Ways to Explain Spinal Cord Injury


6 Ways to Explain Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the human nervous system. It is a long structure of tissues that contains various cells and nerves. The spinal cord runs from your brainstem to the lower back, and the primary purpose of the spinal cord is to send messages from the brainstem to the rest of the body parts. 

Some people tend to confuse spinal cord and vertebrae columns to be the same thing. There is, however, a difference. The vertebral column is the protective layer of bones that covers the spinal cord. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment for various spinal cord injuries.

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

When there is a trauma or injury caused to the spinal cord, it is commonly referred to as spinal injury. Damages to the spinal cord can be quite dangerous and long-lasting. This is because it is the spinal cord nerves that let you feel pain and move limbs as per the message sent by your brain. If these nerves get injured, sensations and movements may become restricted or even numb. 

For instance, spinal cord injury near or around the neck area may lead to severe paralysis. Different types of spinal cord injury may affect different body parts. In some severe cases, the spinal cord may even split and lose complete sensation.

What are the Types of Spinal Cord Injury?

The types of spinal cord injury depend on the severity of the accident/event and the affected body part. The two broad types of spinal cord injury are:

Complete loss

In a complete injury, the person may experience total loss of movement and sensation from the point below the injury. In such a situation, the complete body, that is, both sides of the body, may be affected and paralysed. The loss of sensation in the four limbs and lower back may be common in such situations.

Partial loss

Partial or incomplete spinal cord injury is when a certain part or side of the body is affected instead of the whole body. The brain is still in a condition to convey messages to the safe parts of the body via healthy spinal cord nerves. 

Spinal Cord Injury Causes

There are various spinal cord injury causes. If you suffer any problem, it is important to seek the help of your doctor immediately to avoid any unnecessary complications. Some of the common spinal cord injury causes are:

  • Acts of violence like gunshot or knife stabbing may rupture the spinal cord
  • When diving in shallow water, one may hit the bottom and damage their spinal cord
  • When someone falls from a height and hits the ground
  • Accidental damages  including a car accident that damages the back, neck, or the complete spinal cord
  • Some sporting events may also cause unintended damage to the head or back
  • If the torso is twisted severely, it may rupture the spinal cord
  • Certain surgical complications may also affect the spinal cord functionality.

Hence, sudden events of twisting, violence, or accidents are the primary causes of spinal injuries. To better understand the cause, a medical examination is a must.

Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

A person suffering from spinal cord injury may experience various symptoms and extreme pain in some cases. The common spinal cord injury symptoms are as follows:

  • Loss of bowel/bladder control. The patient may not be able to control bowel movement as before
  • Headache that may be severe at times
  • The problem with walking properly
  • If the nerves of arms and legs get affected, the person may not be able to control the movement of arms and legs
  • Numbness or tingling feelings in certain nerves
  • Pain, stiffness, or feeling of extreme pressure in the neck
  • Losing control of the positioning of the head
  • Abnormal lumps on the spinal cord. 

These are some of the common spinal cord injury symptoms that one may experience.

How to Diagnosis Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal injury is essential to be medically diagnosed in order to receive the proper treatment. The common diagnosis methods for spinal cord injury include:

  • Your heart rate and breathing will be primarily checked to ensure these two are stable.
  • After that, your motor and sensory functions will be checked. You will be asked to move body parts and feel the sensation.

After these examinations, certain tests may be carried out for further examination, like:

  • X-ray: It shows any dislocation or fracture in the vertebrae columns.
  • CT scan: The CT scan confirms any case of blood clots or broken bones.
  • MRI: The MRI helps to spot problems in the spinal cord and the tissues.

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

After the diagnosis process is done and the problem has been spotted, the spinal cord injury treatment will be carried out. These may include:

Corticosteroid injections

As a part of immediate medication, the injection of corticosteroid may be given to the patient within 8 hours of the injury. The injection helps reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and also protect the functions of nerves.


In cases of serious spinal cord injury, surgery may be carried out to immediately treat the spinal injury.


In order to restore the functions of the body parts like the neck or back, certain tools may be advised. This may include neck collars to fix neck alignment or other braces.

The patient may also be advised bed rest for a certain period or physical rehabilitation. It helps restore the functionality of the spinal cord so that the person can start feeling like before.

Final Word

Owing to the sensitivity and importance of the spinal cord, it is very important to stay safe from spinal cord injuries. There can be several types of spinal cord injuries as mentioned above. However, certain incidents may not be avoidable and may cause serious problems. 

In such a situation, seeking immediate medical attention is the best decision. 

Wait, there is more!

Let us warn you that spinal injuries may attract hefty medical costs. But this can be managed by planning your finances with comprehensive health insurance plans, such as Care Health Insurance.  

And when you have best health insurance plans there for you, the burden of medical expenses will no longer be yours. Let Care Health Insurance do the needful for you.

We wish you a happy and healthy life!

>> Also Read: Cervical Pain: Types, Causes and Treatment


1. The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

2. All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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