How the nervous system works
The brain controls the body’s activity by using the nervous system to send and receive small electrical pulses. It sends signals through the nerves to activate muscles, and receives signals to process our sense of touch. The spinal cord is the main “pipeline” for the nervous system – nerves run through it, up the neck and into the brain. An injury to the nerves in the spinal cord can limit or eliminate the brain’s ability to communicate with parts of the body.
Complete vs. Incomplete
An injury is considered “complete” when there is complete loss of sensation and voluntary movement below the level of the injury. For example, paralysis is a complete injury. If there is still partial movement or sensation, the injury is considered “incomplete“.
Traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries
There are two types of spinal cord injuries: traumatic and non-traumatic. Traumatic injuries are sustained in an accident, and non-traumatic injuries are caused by diseases or congenital disorders like Spina Bifida.
Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
Thousands of Canadians suffer an accidental spinal cord injury each year. The two types of accidents that cause the most spinal cord injuries are falls and motor vehicle accidents. A SCI may cause you to miss weeks, months or years of work, or you may be unable to ever work again. Recovery from a SCI can also involve physical, occupational and psychological therapy, as well as extensive medical care. These things can cause a serious financial burden for you and your family.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can present different symptoms based on the location and the severity of the injury. Symptoms may include pain, numbness or a complete loss of sensation in the affected areas. In some cases muscles may move uncontrollably, become weak, or completely unresponsive.
Is there a cure for Spinal Cord Injuries?
Repairing damage to the spinal cord has been shown to be possible, but medical advances have not yet provided a cure for paralysis. Most current efforts therefore center on rehabilitation and improving the quality of life of injury victims.
If you of a loved one suffer from a Spinal Cord Injury following a motor vehicle accident and want to learn more about available benefits, download our Spinal Cord Injury eBook. Feel free to Contact Us at 1-800-606-2529.