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What is a Spinal Cord Injury? (General Overview)

what is a spinal cord injury
what is a spinal cord injury

A General Overview On Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most common injuries one could get in the event of an accident is a Spinal Cord Injury. But exactly what is a spinal cord injury? 

An injury of this kind could drastically affect one’s quality of life. The spinal cord is a bridge between the brain and the rest of your body, so getting an SCI could disrupt communication to and from the brain. People affected by a spinal cord injury have a hard time moving certain parts of their body, with some not even being able to move them at all. 

In this blog, we want to give the readers (you) a general overview on Spinal Cord Injury. This includes its different types, its effects, as well as how you can reduce the risk of acquiring SCI on the road. First, let’s begin by defining what Spinal Cord Injury actually is.

What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?

Car accidents endanger those who are directly affected. The impact of the crash could lead people to die, and in less severe cases lead them to acquire fatal injuries. 

True to its name, a person is affected by a Spinal Cord Injury if their spine is severed. The most common cause of SCI is catastrophic car accidents, but it is also common to get a spine injury through accidental falls, sports-related incidents, etc. 

Types of Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injuries can be classified as either complete or incomplete. Let’s briefly discuss what distinguishes one from the other.

  1. Complete Spinal Cord Injury: This type of injury is irreversible as it completely disrupts nerve impulses, effectively cutting off the communication between the brain and certain body parts. No treatments have been developed to reverse spine injuries of this nature.  
  2. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: This type of injury is less severe as the damaged part of the spine is only slightly severed. However, there is a possibility that those affected won’t be able to move and use certain body parts at its fullest capacity. 

Regardless of the type of spine injury one may have, it is typically recommended to seek medical care and physical therapy to improve mobility. 

Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

The life-altering effects of Spinal Cord Injuries could be divided into three: physical, sensory, and psychological. Let’s go over each of them.

Physical Effects

Since the communication between the brain and certain parts of one’s body is severed, it is possible that those affected will experience physical effects such as paralysis. And because their mobility is affected, they may experience muscle atrophy in certain body parts as well since they’re not able to move them. 

Sensory Effects 

Changes in sensation and perception may abound when affected by an injury in the spine. This could affect one’s reflexes and alter response times as the injured part of their spine is causing a blockage between their brain and certain body parts. 

Psychological and Emotional Impacts

The drastic physical changes one will experience when they are injured in the spine could also lead to a decline in mental health. Their limited mobility may prevent them from doing things that once made them happy. Almost every aspect of their life will also change: the dynamic they have with the people around them, their access to resources, etc. They will experience a sense of instability that could further plummet their mental wellness. For this reason, it is important that a person affected by SCI see a mental health professional. So much emphasis is being made towards physical care and for good reasons. But too often, one’s psychological wellbeing is being disregarded in the process. 

Promoting safety awareness on the road

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, motorcycle and vehicle collisions are the most common causes of Spinal Cord Injury. For this reason, you will need to develop good driving habits for when you are on the road. 

Avoid Distractions

You need to stop yourself from developing distracted driving habits if you want to lessen your chances of getting a spinal cord injury. Distracted driving can be divided into three parts: cognitive, visual, and manual. Some forms of distraction include more than one type of distraction, most notably texting and driving. Texting and driving encompasses all three types and is therefore considered the most lethal. Other forms of distraction include rubbernecking (craning your neck to the scene of an accident instead of focusing on driving), fiddling with your car settings, etc. Distracted driving pulls your focus away from the task at hand, increasing the likelihood of you crashing into someone and severing your spine. 

Follow Traffic Laws

Following traffic laws goes beyond the legal repercussions you may have to endure if you disobey it (ie: a mark on your record, paying fines, etc.). It’s also the fact that as soon as you go behind the wheel, the lives of several people are on the line. Pedestrians, especially those who are most vulnerable to accidents like children, the elderly, and the disabled, are at an extreme high risk of acquiring fatal injuries. You don’t want your negligence to cause someone’s paralysis. So whether or not you have aversion to rules, you need to learn to embrace those involving traffic safety. They’re there for a reason.

Practice Defensive Driving

In an environment where road rage incidents are increasing year by year, you need to go against the grain and practice defensive driving. This means learning how to control your anger and not letting it affect how you are on the road. Defensive driving also looks like letting cars merge in your lane, or preparing to stop at a yellow light instead of pushing your accelerator down hard. Things may happen on the road that are out of your control, whether it be a driver driving erratically, or just a random obstruction in the way. So remain vigilant at all times. Take deep breaths if need be. 

Call Omega Law Group

No matter the safety precautions you may have taken to minimize the risk of getting injured in the spine, there are still people out there who will still drive recklessly no matter the consequences. If it just so happens that you got injured in the event of an accident, you will need a Spinal Cord Injury expert in the legal field to help you get the justice you deserve. You will need to call Omega Law Group.

The attorneys at Omega Law have won awards from industry-vetted organizations and have gained recognition not just from their peers in the field of personal injury, but from prestigious publications as well. They put their clients at the utmost priority and make sure to give them personalized service unique to their case and situation. Their empathetic demeanor and their shrewd negotiation skills have enabled them to win millions of dollars on behalf of their clients. 

At Omega Law, the attorneys understand that legal fees could be burdensome for people who may have been struggling financially due to this accident. They want to bridge this resource gap by operating on a contingency fee basis, meaning that prospective clients don’t have to pay legal fees upfront. Omega Law believes that quality client service should be reserved for all, not just a select few.

Schedule a free consultation now to learn more!