Living with Spinal Injuries
Injuries to the spine are among the most common types of personal injury. Recovery can be a slow and painful process, and depending on the severity and nature of the injury, victims are often left with permanent disabilities while requiring ongoing medical care. While living with spinal injuries presents plenty of physical and emotional challenges, there are strategies that can help you and your loved one’s cope.
Types of Spinal Injuries
The Mayo Clinic notes several types of spine injuries, all of which vary in the degree of impact they have on the victim. Whereas non-traumatic injuries occur as the result of health factors such as infections, cancer, or disc degeneration, traumatic injuries result from blows to the spine. Damage may involve fractures, dislocations, or ruptures of the ligaments, discs, and vertebrae that make up the spinal column, or they may involve cuts and tears to the spinal cord itself. Accidents that can result in spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Being struck by or against an object
- Sports and recreational injuries
Damage to the nerve fibers in the injured areas impacts the corresponding muscles and nerves at or below the injury site. In addition to limiting movement or causing complete paralysis, spinal injuries can impact important body functions, such as bladder control, heart rate, and respiration.
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Tips for Living With Spine Injuries
In addition to the injury itself, the Mayo Clinic advises that additional damage can occur in the days, weeks, and months after your accident, due to inflammation, fluid accumulation, and bleeding within the spinal cord and in the surrounding area. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord, and problems with torn ligaments or fractured discs can result in permanent disabilities.
Occupational therapy can help those with spinal cord injuries learn to adapt to and live with their condition. Through sessions provided either at home, in the hospital, or in outpatient clinics, treatment can help with strength building while teaching coping skills and adaptive techniques that allow those with spinal cord injuries to regain some of their independence. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) recommends the following to help spinal injury victims and family members:
- Be an active participant in the rehabilitative process
- Choose medical providers who specialize specifically in spinal injury care and treatment
- Get the emotional support you need to stay motivated and focused on your goals for recovery and independence
- Take advantage of local resources that can help you understand your injury and the recovery process, while helping you get integrated back into work and social activities.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you care about has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our personal injury attorneys understand the ongoing need for medical care and attention these injuries require, not to mention the heavy financial toll they can take on your family. We act as a strong legal advocate to protect your rights and can advise you on how to get the compensation you need to recover.