Of all the injuries the human body is heir to, there is none more frightening than a spinal injury. Your spine is a complex of bodily systems. When one isn’t functioning as it should, the fallout can be devastating, affecting your ability to walk and even to control your bladder.
The psychological effects of spinal injuries are just as difficult as the physical ones. Imagine losing your mobility, the ability to care for yourself or to hold your loved ones. A tragic circumstance.
Following an injury to the spine, it’s difficult to gauge the extent of the damage beyond the immediate trauma. Fluids can pool around the site, causing further complications.
Most spinal injuries occur between the ages of 15 and 30 and those most at risk are healthy males. These are the daredevils among us and sometimes, daring the devil results in grievous injuries to the spine.
While extreme sports and contact sports are exhilarating, they’re also a clear and present danger to the health of your spine.
Let’s look at the six most common causes of spinal injuries.
- Car accidents: These account for 40% of spinal injuries in the USA, every year.
- Falling: Over 25% of spinal injuries are caused by falls, with seniors being in the most high-risk group for falling.
- Violence: Gunshot wounds, stabbings and fist fights are responsible for 15% of spinal injuries.
- Contact sports: 8% of spinal injuries are caused by contact sports like football and hockey. But cheerleading also falls under this category.
- Substance abuse: Very bad things can happen when you’re under the influence of alcohol and drugs and substance abuse results in many spinal injuries.
- Disease: Arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer all weaken your bones, making them much more susceptible to injury.
Take good care
While not all spinal injuries can be prevented (particularly in the presence of disease and drunk drivers), many injuries in this category can be avoided.
Older people, especially, should take special care. If balance is not what it used to be, there’s no shame in using a mobility device. You may not care for the message it sends but an injured spine will remove the option. Use a cane or a walker if your balance is faulty. Avoid an injury which may rob you of your mobility entirely if you fall.
Needless to say, getting into brawls is not the best kind of conduct to engage in. Walking away can save your spine. But if you’re held up at gun or knife point, the best strategy is to co-operate with your assailant. Hand over your wallet and you may avoid a life-changing injury.
Moderation is in order when imbibing and using drugs is a bad idea (and illegal). Substance abuse can cost you your mobility, so if there’s a problem, maybe it’s time to seek help.
Spine Consult NJ
At Spine Consult, we’re dedicated to caring for patients with conditions of the spine. If you’ve sustained a spinal injury, contact us for more information.