Articles Posted in Back & Neck Injuries

Spinal Cord Injury Location Can Make a DifferenceWhen people talk about a ‘spinal cord injury’, it is important to establish where the injury took place on the spinal cord. Because different specialists explain an injury using different terminology, you may feel more confused after having met with several specialists than you would otherwise.

Understanding basic spinal cord anatomy

In order to have a better understanding of what you are being told and to clear up any confusion, you have to understand basic spinal anatomy. Remember that the spinal cord and the spine itself are two different structures. The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain to just above the tailbone and is a series of fibers and nerve cells. It has some protection because of the bony vertebrae of the spine.

Symptoms of Brain InjuryIf someone experiences an accident, this person may have traumatic brain injuries that are not apparent right away. In fact, the problems may develop in two distinct ways according to a recent study: one involves cognitive impairment and the other involves mood and behavioral disorders.

What the study showed

According to the recent study, all of the 36 patients suffered from a combination of behavioral, mood, and cognitive disorders while cognitive impairment was almost universal amongst patients. However, close to 66% of the patients developed behavioral and mood disturbances at a younger age and passed away far younger. The remaining third of the patients primarily suffered from cognitive impairment with a later onset. This was linked to the patient dying at an older age.

Anoxic Brain InjuryMost people are acutely aware of the fact that depriving the brain of oxygen, even for a short period, could lead to serious problems. If the oxygen levels are low for approximately four minutes, brain cells are already starting to die off because of a lack of oxygen. If a person goes without oxygen for five minutes or more an anoxic brain injury may occur.

Make no mistake about it, anoxic brain injury, also called hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI) or cerebral hypoxia is a serious, possibly life-threatening, issue. Even short-term oxygen deprivation to the brain could result in disability and/or cognitive problems. The greater the lack of oxygen for that particular patient, the more serious and widespread the injury will be.

Why our brain needs oxygen

Recovery from a spinal cordThere are approximately 400,000 people throughout the United States living with the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI) at any given time. Even though statistics show that spinal cord injuries are more prevalent amongst males, anyone who is involved in an accident could experience a spinal cord injury at any given time.

Two different types of SCI

When talking about spinal cord injuries, there are two different types. These include the complete spinal cord injury (meaning the patient loses complete lack of function any lower than their injury) and the incomplete spinal cord injury (there is some feeling and sensation below the injury). The degree and level of functioning is dependent upon the patient and in which way and how severely the spinal cord was damaged.

back injuryAs a Chicago personal injury lawyer, I everyday seems to remind me that back and neck injuries are indeed serious injuries that can result in permanent disability, paralysis, or even death.  Back and injuries can involve the bone, muscle, or soft tissue.  Common injuries include strains and sprains, fractured vertebrae, sciatica, and herniated disks.

The most common location for back injuries and back pain is the lower back because the lower back supports your body weight.  80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives.  Common causes of back and neck injuries include trauma (falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports, birth injury), arthritis, cancer, degenerative conditions, and surgical injury.

Back Pain

trampolineOf course the warmer weather excites me after suffering through another winter.  For all of the Springtime excitement, I cringe when I see people dragging the trampolines that had been sitting idly in the dark confines of their yard into the prime real estate of the backyards.

Common dangers going ignored

Without a second thought, many parents will drag out trampolines of all types into use for their children to jump, flop and somersault on during the summer.

paralyzed patients in wheelchairsParalysis means the loss of muscle function in a part of the body.  If the paralysis is caused by a spinal cord injury (SCI), it is further classified as a complete or an incomplete injury.

A complete paralysis injury is where the spinal cord cannot convey any messages to the body below the injury, resulting in a complete loss of sensory and motor function.  An incomplete injury is where the spinal cord can still convey some messages to and from the body below the injury.

Spinal cord injuries are also classified by the level of the injury (also known as a lesion), which refers to the spinal cord segment where the injury occurred.  In the United States, about 1,275,000 people have suffered spinal cord injuries (men account for 61% of all SCIs).  And about 5,596,000 people in the United States have suffered some form of paralysis.