SPINAL CORD INJURY
The spinal cord is composed of a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back. It is divided into several segments in the spine. It functions as a pathway and messengers for the brain so that proper and correct responses can be sent to the rest of the body. The function of the spinal cord is very important in order for a person to move and function. The function of the spinal cords involves the locomotion such as walking. The brain would send a signal to the muscles in the legs so that they will be able to contract and move with coordination. The neurons also are known as central pattern generators in the spinal cord will send messages or electrical impulses to the muscles for them to move. Neurons are located in the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is well protected inside the spinal canal by the spinal bones and disc. The length of the spinal cord measures approximately 45cm for adult men and 42cm for adult women. The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system along with the brain and is essential for almost all bodily function. Any injury or damages to the spinal cord may cause irreversible damage to the rest of the body, affecting the ability of the body to move, feel and respond to stimuli.
The injury to the spinal is divided into two parts: the complete and the incomplete.
- The complete spinal cord injury means the cord could no longer send signals or chemical messages into the parts, just below the injury site. The result is, you are paralyzed below the injury. You will no longer be able to move and feel any sensation from the affected part of the body.
- The incomplete part is you may still have some movement and can still feel sensation right below the injury.
The following is not a complete list of the symptoms of a spinal cord injury but these are the most common signs if you are suffering from the condition.
- Different degrees of paralysis
- Inability to breath and there may be a need for a respirator
- The loss of bladder and bowel function
- Recurrent infections
- Loss of libido
- Chronic muscle pain
- Bedsores may be present if no proper care is provided.
If you think you are suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Spinal Cord Injuries as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).