A spinal cord injury is a damage to the spinal cord. It’s an extremely serious type of physical trauma that’s likely to have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life.
The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to all parts of the body. It also sends messages from the body to the brain. We are able to perceive pain and move our limbs because of messages sent through the spinal cord.
If the spinal cord sustains an injury, some or all of these impulses may not be able to ‘get through’. The result is a complete or total loss of sensation and mobility below the injury. A spinal cord injury closer to the neck will typically cause paralysis throughout a larger part of the body than one in the lower back area.
A spinal cord injury is often the result of an unpredictable accident or violent event. The following can all result in damage to the spinal cord:
Some symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
If you suspect that someone has a back or neck injury:
Because spinal cord injuries are often due to unpredictable events, the best you can do is reduce your risk.
Some risk-reducing measures include:
The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.
Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-
Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed
The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair
Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques
Lesser painful procedure
Reduced hospitalization period
Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.
Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.
People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.
Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.
Talk to your doctor keeping these points in mind, and you can bid farewell to your back pain forever.
At some point in life most people experience acute pain in their lower back which is extremely painful. Pain in the spine causes a lot of discomfort and disruption in the life of an individual and hence, it is always better to get it checked on time. There are patients who even wonder when they should consult a neurosurgeon or a spine surgeon for their back pain. It is advisable that a physical examination is done by a primary care physician for low back pain before consulting a spine surgeon.
Why consult a Physical care Physician First?
The main reason to consult a primary care physician at first is that he would prescribe medications for severe lower back pain. The medications could include non-narcotic pain medications such as Ultram or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin. The physician can even refer you to a chiropractor or for physical therapy to get relief from the back pain. Mechanical means are made use of by a chiropractor mainly to alleviate the back pain of the patient.
If the patient feels better with the physical therapy or the medications prescribed by the family doctor and is able to resume normal activities, then there is no need to see a spine surgeon. It is often recommended to take good care of the back and to exercise. A combination of ergonomics, regular stretching and improved everyday posture is beneficial as it reduces the chance of causing pain in the lower back. Exercise plays a very important role and it provides the possibility of reducing the pain.
Conservative Care for Treating Lower back Pain
It is best for patients to consult a conservative care specialist if after consulting a chiropractor they do not find any reduction in their pain and they do not want to undergo spine surgery. The conservative care specialists are well-trained in rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders and specialize in spine care. The role of the conservative care specialist is similar to a cardiologist who specializes in treating neurological disorders.
The specialist for spine care works along with the surgeon in a spine center to treat the lower back pain. The specialist is trained in diagnostic techniques and is capable of making use of a combination of diagnostic tests as well as injection techniques such as epidural steroid injections to diagnose the source of the lower back pain in a patient. They can even advise patients whether it is appropriate to consult a spine surgeon for surgery. Surgery is done to correct the anatomical conditions and it is performed only when non-surgical treatments are not successful in alleviating the pain of the patient.
The human spine is endowed with tremendous strength and flexibility, but it is also prone to severe injuries. Due to the presence of a vast network of nerves in the spinal cord, particularly in the lower region, injuries can become gravely complicated with a large scope for permanent damage. Heavy lifting, sudden movements and twisting can lead to spinal injuries and must be avoided while working out in the gym.
There are simple precautions that you can take to protect your spine from accidents and injuries while doing heavy lifts in the gym. Not only will these precautions ensure that your spine is protected from any harm, but they also yield a range of health benefits in the long run.
Following are a few precautions that can be taken from spinal protection:
The occasional difficulty in getting or keeping an erection is normal. It starts to become a problem when you’re regularly having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection — to the extent that you’re purposefully avoiding intimate moments with your partner.
Erectile dysfunction takes many forms. Some guys with ED are unable to achieve an erection under any circumstances, while others can occasionally become erect. You can also suffer from ED if you have no trouble getting an erection, but can’t consistently sustain an erection sufficient for satisfying sexual intercourse.
ED is not normal and is by no means an inevitable consequence of aging. In fact, most men with ED still have the ability to have an orgasm and father a child, but often have difficulty doing these things because they can’t get or sustain an erection.
What Causes ED?
To start with, ED is NOT all in your head. You can’t simply will yourself to get an erection, no matter how much you try. Studies show that only 20% of the causes of ED are due to a psychological problem or disorder. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are common causes. Even a perfectly healthy man can develop ED after a brain or spinal cord injury. ED can be a side effect of certain medications, too.