Spinal Cord Injuries

heated salt water therapy poolThe spinal cord is the foundation of life in the human body. It’s the track of bones lining one’s back that carries nervous system information – vital information – to the rest of the body. Whether it’s telling your heart to beat, your lungs to breath, or your legs to take a step out of the road as a car is heading your way, the spinal cord does a lot for us. That is why it’s extremely important to take care of any spinal cord injury – even the most minor – in ourselves and especially in our children.

What Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries Are There?
A spinal cord injury that demands attention could be as minute as a bruise (also known as a contusion) or as big as a complete tear (also known as a transection). While a bruise or a partial tear may not seem too serious, it can result in some disability in a child. Some of these disabilities could be short-term or as long-term as a life-long issue.

What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
Taking care of children requires parents to have an extra eye on a child at all times. Even so, a child could have a spill or an inevitable incident could occur. Many spinal cord injuries occur from the following situations:

  1. birth defect/incident
  2. falling off of something
  3. car accidents
  4. athletics
  5. violence
  6. abscesses caused by infections

What Are The Effects Of Apsidal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can have an array of effects on a child. The location of the injury, the severity of the injury, and a child’s bodily response will indicate how troublesome a spinal cord injury will be. Some spinal cord injuries can result in permanent disability or even death. This is why it’s so crucial to be aware of the fragility of the child’s spinal cord.

Generally, spinal cord injuries can be split up into these three sections:

  1. Upper: This part of the spinal cord around the neck area can have the most damaging effects. Trauma to this section of the spinal cord can result in quadriplegia, or the inability or disability to use one’s arms or legs.
  2. Middle: The middle section of the spinal cord (actually parallel to one’s chest area) controls breathing. Trauma to this section of the spinal cord can result in a difficulty or inability to breathe.
  3. Lower: This section controls one’s bladder, sexual organs, and as far down as one’s legs. Trauma to this section can result in the impairment of a child’s legs and bowel system.

Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
Through blood tests, X-rays, computed tomography (CAT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, a doctor can indicate exactly what the injury is in order to treat it. Some symptoms, as indicated above, require immediate treatment in order to minimize the damage affected by a spinal cord injury or to save a child’s life.

Often there are many options in response to spinal cord injuries. There are surgeries that can attempt to fix the problem, braces to minimize further damage, medications to slow swelling, and therapy to help heal a child’s spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries can shock a family at its core, which is why it’s important to get the best treatment possible. This should never be taken lightly and the consequences of every decision at this point must be considered. Regardless, getting physical therapy after a traumatic incident like this is crucial to the livelihood of a child and his/her family.

At Bergen Pediatric Therapy we combine all of the therapies together with a   team centered approach to treating Spinal cord injuries by collaborating with physicians, therapists, and others involved in the child’s care.

Contact us to learn how we can help your child or schedule a complimentary evaluation of your child’s needs and free facility tour.

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