Most Common Causes and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted on July 4, 2018


Your spinal cord is responsible for so much more than helping you stand upright. In addition to supporting the upper body, it is home to millions of nerves and synapses. An injury to your spinal cord can affect your arms or legs as well as your ability to walk, stand, or sit. According to orthopedic care specialists in Suffolk County, New York, there are several ways you can injure your spine aside from a major accident. Keep reading to learn more about spinal injuries and how you can prevent them.

Common Spinal Injuries

Most spinal injuries are the result of a traumatic impact like falling off a ladder or being involved in an automobile accident. In cases like these, additional damage accumulates in the days following the incident. Internal bleeding and swelling around the affected area will contribute to inflammation and fluid buildup around your spine. Never take spinal injuries lightly, and see your doctor or emergency room immediately if you're involved in a traumatic accident. Waiting can do additional damage and produce more complications. Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries usually take longer to manifest. For example, disk degeneration and arthritis take years to develop. These conditions are more common in older patients and patients who have had previous spinal injuries. Other non-traumatic injuries are incurred through simple tasks like lifting a heavy box without a support belt or bending the wrong way to pick up something off the floor.  


Symptoms of Spinal Trauma

How do you know if you’ve suffered a back injury? The most obvious symptom is a pain; however, some people dismiss this sign and wait to see if it gets worse before they see a doctor. Other symptoms of a spinal injury include the loss of sensation in your arms or legs, tightness in the lower back, and the inability to stand up or maintain your balance. If you experience these symptoms, the important thing to remember is not to move. Movement can do further damage. Call for help and wait for medical assistance to arrive while remaining as still and calm as possible.

How to Avoid Hurting Your Back

When it comes to automobile accidents, there's little you can do except being a defensive driver and watch out for others who are less observant. In your home or on the job, you can protect your back from injuries by wearing a support belt and asking for help when you need to lift a heavy object. Exercising and core training can also help improve your spinal strength. Maintaining a good posture when standing or sitting can reduce the risk of long-term spinal damage. For more information on improving your spinal health and protecting your back from major injury, visit your local orthopedic specialists in Suffolk County, New York at Peconic Bay Medical Center.