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March 2020

Spinal injuries: You need immediate care to preserve function

Today, science and medicine have made many advancements, but the reality is that the spine is still an area that requires much more research and study. It’s hard to imagine being paralyzed forever after an accident, and with time, that may no longer be the case. However, for now, many people would agree that a complete severing of the spinal cord could mean the end of control of the body below that point.

If you suffer this kind of catastrophic injury, it is devastating. There can be many complications, such as organ involvement or trouble regulating your body’s heat. Fortunately, there are many medical professionals who can help as you work your way toward recovery.

There is no cure for spinal cord injuries

There is no cure, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t treatments that may provide some help. For example, using steroid drugs at the time of the injury could minimize damage caused by swelling and inflammation, so that victims of catastrophic injuries have the potential to retain as much movement as possible.

Can you recover any movement or feeling after a spinal injury?

This is a difficult question to answer, because everyone is different. However, in most cases, swelling will begin to go down in the days and weeks following an accident. At that time, some function may return.

Researchers have found that people with spinal injuries may continue to see improvement as long as 18 months following an injury. In some extremely rare cases, those with spinal injuries continue to improve years after the injury. The likelihood of recovering all function is low, but there is a chance to recover some.

Will rehabilitation and therapy help?

At least in the first 18 months, it’s normally advised for patients to go through rehabilitation, such as through occupational therapy or physical therapy. During this time, it may be possible to regain function and control as the body heals and becomes stronger. However, results are mixed depending on the kind of injury that was suffered and how severely it affects the spinal cord.

After a spinal injury from a car crash or other accident, it’s important that you get immediate medical care. Early treatment is one of the best ways to prevent secondary injuries and continued damage to the spinal cord. With good treatment and help from medical providers, you may retain more movement and functionality than if you wait to seek help.

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