Spinal injuries can cause significant and long-lasting effects on an individual’s health and quality of life. These injuries may result from a variety of accidents, including car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and other traumatic incidents. While these injuries can cause significant pain and discomfort, there are a number of treatments, including surgery, that can be used to help sufferers of spinal injuries. Here are four of the most common spinal injuries.
- Compression Fractures
Compression fractures are one of the most common spinal injuries, especially among older adults. These fractures usually occur in the lower back and can cause severe pain and loss of mobility. Compression fractures occur when the vertebrae in the spine collapse, usually due to weakened bones. Common causes of weakened bones include osteoporosis and long-term use of certain medications, such as steroids. Treatment for compression fractures typically involves rest, pain management, and physical therapy.
- Herniated Discs
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft centre of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the outer layer. This can cause pressure on nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms or legs. Herniated discs can result from sudden trauma or gradual wear and tear to the spine. Treatment for herniated discs may involve medication, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. Stem cell injections can potentially act as an effective spinal cord injury treatment for herniated discs by promoting the regeneration of damaged tissues and reducing inflammation. Stem cells can differentiate into various types of cells, including those found in the intervertebral disc, and may be able to replace damaged or lost cells. The injections may also release growth factors and other molecules that can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
- Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause long-lasting and life-altering effects on an individual’s health and mobility. These injuries occur when the spinal cord is damaged, either from trauma or disease. Symptoms of spinal cord injuries vary widely depending on the severity of the injury, but may include paralysis, loss of sensation, and loss of bladder or bowel control. Treatment for spinal cord injuries typically involves surgery, medication, and physical therapy.
Whiplash is a type of injury to the neck that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully thrown backward and then forward. It commonly occurs in car accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. The injury is caused by the rapid movement of the head, which stretches and tears the muscles and ligaments in the neck.
The symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion, as well as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. In more severe cases, there may be numbness or tingling in the arms or hands, or even difficulty with speech or in swallowing. Treatment for whiplash may include rest, ice or heat therapy, pain medication, and physical therapy to help restore range of motion and strength in the neck. In some cases, more invasive treatments such as injections or surgery may be necessary.