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What should you know about living with a spinal cord injury?

Due to motor vehicle accidents, sports or recreation injuries, or any other number of factors, the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal may be damaged, resulting in spinal cord injuries. Like others in Washington who have suffered spinal cord injuries, you may be uncertain about the prognosis and unsure of your future. Therefore, it may be helpful to understand how your life may be affected by a spinal cord injury.

Depending on the location of your injury along and its severity, you may experience a range of symptoms as a result of a spinal cord injury. This includes loss of movement, spasms, exaggerated reflexes, pain or a stinging sensation, loss of feeling or altered sensations, and difficulty breathing or coughing.

As a result of your spinal cord injury, the way in which your body functions may be altered, causing various secondary complications. This includes urinary tract or kidney infections due to bladder control issues, pressure sores because of skin sensation changes, blood clots or hypotension as a result of circulatory control changes, and depression.

According to the Mayo Clinic, once sustained, damage to the spinal cord cannot be reversed. Therefore, treatment of spinal cord injuries primarily focuses on stabilizing the injury, preventing complications and rehabilitation. Immediately after suffering a spinal cord injury, you may be put into traction to align your spine, stabilize it or both. Depending on the type and severity of your injury, you may also require surgery to remove objects that are compressing the spine, to stabilize the spine or to avoid pain in the future. After your injury has stabilized, your treatment may involve preventing or treating secondary complications of your injury and participating in rehabilitation therapies and treatment. This includes working with physical therapists, occupational therapists and other rehabilitation professionals to redevelop your fine motor skills, maintain and build your existing muscle function, and learn adaptive techniques that you can use to accomplish tasks in your daily life.

This post is not intended as legal advice and should only be taken as general information.

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