Spinal Cord Injury: What Should You Do?

No one looks forward to managing an auto accident injury in Lehigh Acres, FL. When they aren’t fatal, car crash injuries are typically overwhelming and debilitating. That’s especially when it involves an injury to the spinal cord.

Unfortunately, a spinal cord injury can happen more frequently than you may imagine. The United States of America records 17,000 spinal cord injury cases annually. Most of such cases are individuals between 16 to 30 years and result from motor vehicle collisions. Other common causes of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) include falls, assault, sports injuries, and medical/surgical effects.

Having a spinal cord injury diagnosis can leave you confused about the next essential steps to take. You must make the right decisions to avoid complicating your condition for life. Fortunately, this article discusses the proper cause of action after confirming your SCI.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury happens when any part or nerve at the end of your spinal cord suffers trauma-induced damage. In other words, it’s an injury to the tightly-packed network of nerves/cells responsible for sending body-to-brain signals and vice-versa.

Spinal cord injuries may be complete or incomplete and result from primary or secondary damages.

  • Complete Injury 

If you have a complete spinal cord injury, you’ll lose motor and sensory function below the damage site.  A complete injury also involves severed communication between nerve cells.

  • Incomplete Injury 

In an incomplete injury, the brain will still receive and send signals to the spinal cord. So, you’ll still have some sensory ability. You’ll also exercise some control over muscle action below the lesion site.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries 

SCI symptoms go beyond physical signs to include emotional and mental effects. These are the typical indications that you may have a spinal cord injury:

  • Physical Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries 

The physical symptoms of a spinal cord injury include difficulty breathing, paralysis, motion problems, headaches, and back and head pain. You may also experience loss of bowel control, numbness, and loss of sensation in your feet and hands.

  • Emotional and Mental Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries 

Anxiety, depression, and aggressive behaviors are common emotional effects of spinal cord injuries. In addition, you may feel restless and irritable and develop post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic fatigue.

Does My Auto Accident Injury in Lehigh Acres, FL, Include Spinal Cord Wounds?

The only sure way to know that you have a spinal cord injury is via a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner, like a chiropractor. So, if you experience any spinal cord injury symptoms, you should visit one as soon as possible.

Your chiropractor will perform a full spine examination to detect joint motion restrictions and muscle spasms. They’ll also discover any damage to your intervertebral disk and ligaments. If they find anything unusual, you’ll undergo further evaluation using the motion and static diagnostic technique.

Another way a chiropractor will diagnose your spinal cord injury is by grasping your body’s mechanics. For example, they’ll take note of your spinal alignment and posture as you walk.

Your chiropractor may also advise you to undergo an MRI or spinal X-ray for a more thorough assessment. They also ensure that your chiropractor has all the necessary information to choose the most effective treatment methods for your condition.

What Are the Next Steps After a Spinal Cord Injury?

These are the next steps to take after a spinal cord injury in Lehigh Acres, FL:

Commence Treatment 

After your diagnosis, your chiropractor will place you on a personalized care plan as soon as possible. You should ensure that you strictly adhere to their expert advice. While chiropractic treatment options depend on your case’s specifics, spinal adjustments and physical therapy are the most common.

Your chiropractor may also suggest that you explore electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). We’ve discussed them below:

  • Spinal or Chiropractic Adjustment 

This refers to the method chiropractors use to manipulate the spine. The primary aim of a chiropractic adjustment is to improve your vertebrae functioning and range of motion. It also focuses on alignment correction and pain relief.

Chiropractors perform spinal adjustments by applying pressure to your spine with their hands or specialized equipment. This technique is effective in treating mobility problems.

  • Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)

EMS therapy helps to repair spinal cord injuries by increasing blood flow to damaged tissue sites. It does this by stimulating muscle contraction by creating steady electric impulses.

Here’s how it works: your chiropractor will position electrodes (an electricity conductor) on your back. This carries electric current to your muscle tissues to improve their functioning.

EMS is effective in treating inflammation and reducing the frequency of muscle spasms. It also helps relieve pain by triggering the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins).

  • Physical Therapy

Another effective way to treat symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries is with physical therapy. That’s because exercises like aerobics, stretching, and strength and endurance training are essential parts of the recovery process for mobility problems.

Physical therapy helps to strengthen and stretch your back. Your chiropractor will recommend the most convenient and effective exercises to perform at home.

Other effective chiropractic methods for managing spinal cord injuries include ultrasound therapy, massage therapy,  and acupuncture.

Adopt Necessary Lifestyle Changes

Your chiropractor will advise you on the important lifestyle alterations you must make to improve your recovery. This may include changing your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. You’ll also need to limit your intake of sweets, fried foods, chips, etc.

Other methods to help you leave a more comfortable life after SCI include having the proper medical supplies. You should also seek support from friends and family while scheduling regular check-up visits to your chiropractor.

It’s important not to compare your recovery process with someone else’s. SCI injuries affect people differently, so do what works for you at your own pace.

Remain Optimistic

Managing a spinal cord injury is difficult, but beating yourself about it will worsen your condition. So instead, maintain a positive outlook to improve your chances of a speedy recovery.

Did You Sustain an Auto Accident Injury in Lehigh Acres, FL? Contact Specific Care Chiropractic Now!

Visiting a chiropractor is the best step to take if you’ve sustained an injury to your spinal cord. Chiropractic care has proven effective in treating low back and neck pain associated with spinal cord injuries.

If you’re looking for the best injury treatment center in Lehigh Acres, FL, Specific Care Chiropractic has got you. Our qualified doctors will draw up an individualized care plan to relieve your pain and improve mobility in no time. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you thrive regardless of your SCI diagnosis.