Information About Spinal Cord Injury

Information About Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord consists of nerves that runs from the bottom of the brain down to your back. There are 31 pairs of nerves that travels from your spinal cord and down to your arms, chest, legs, and abdomen. These nerves give your brain permission to control your muscles and allow movements to your arms and legs. The nerves that commands your arms exit from the upper part of the spinal cord, while the nerves on your legs exit from the lower part of the spinal cord. These nerves also have control over the functions of your organs including your bladder, bowels, heart, and lungs.

There are other nerves that travel from your arms and legs then back to the spinal cord. These nerves are responsible for sending information from your body to your brain which includes the senses of pain, position, temperature, and touch. The spinal cord runs through your spinal canal. This canal is surrounded by the bones in your neck and back, known as the vertebrae which makes up your backbone. The vertebrae are divided into 5 lower back (lumbar) vertebrae, 7 neck (cervical) vertebrae, and 12 chest (thoracic) vertebrae.

Spinal cord injury

The spinal cord is prone to injury. Unlike your other body parts, the spinal cord isn't capable of repairing itself if it incurred some damage. A spinal cord injury happens when the spinal cord gets damaged through trauma, loss of normal blood supply, or compression from an infection or tumor. In the United States, an estimate of 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury happens every year. This injury is very common among white males.

Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury means that there is a total loss of sensation and muscle function in the body below the injury level. An incomplete spinal cord injury can retain function below the injury level. In most cases, both sides of the body become equally affected.

If there is an injury in the upper area of the spinal cord, it can cause quadriplegia-paralysis on both arms and legs. A spinal cord injury that happens lower in the back can cause paraplegia-paralysis only to both legs.

Spinal cord injury facts

  • Spinal cord injury happens mostly to young, white men.
  • Trauma is the most common cause of spinal cord injury.
  • Early immobilization and treatment are the most essential factors in recovering from a spinal cord injury.
  • Assistive devices and aggressive rehabilitation allow people with severe spinal cord injuries retain their quality of life and become productive.
  • Spinal cord injury is classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete injury will cause disfunction below the level of injury. An incomplete injury can still retain some functions below the level of injury.

Common causes of spinal cord injury

Trauma is a very common cause for spinal cord injury. Almost half of these injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents. The other types of trauma include the following:

  • Violence (stabbing or gunshot wounds to the spine)
  • Fall from heights
  • Sports injuries

Spinal cord injury can also happen if the cord is compressed by a tumor, inflammation, or infection. Some patients have a smaller spinal canal (called spinal stenosis) and have a higher risk of injury to the spinal cord.

All tissues in the body including the spinal cord needs a substantial supply of blood to allow delivery of oxygen and other nutrients. If there is a minimal supply of blood in the spinal cord, it can also cause injury. This is normally caused by aneurism, blood vessel compression, or a prolonged drop of blood pressure.

Hopefully, this information about spinal cord injury has opened your eyes to seek a chiropractor immediately. If you want, you can consult with Dr. Alex Tam from Vacaville to help you with your spinal cord injury assessment. He owns the top chiropractic and holistic clinic in the Solano county so there's a good chance that you will recover from such an injury.

9:00am - 12:00pm
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9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


Absolute Family Chiropractic
1490 Alamo Drive Suite B
Vacaville, CA 95687
(707) 474-5688