In case of a spinal cord injury, there occurs damage to the spinal cord which causes either temporary or permanent changes in its function. Some of the symptoms may include of loss of muscle function, sensation or the automatic function that takes place in the parts of the body which is served by the spinal cord below the level of injury. The injury can take place at any level of the spinal cord and it can also be a complete injury in which a total loss of the sensation and muscle function takes place and in case of incomplete injury, some nervous signals are able to travel past the injured area of the cord.
The symptoms usually vary depending upon the severity of the damage and the location of the damage from numbness to paralysis to incontinence. Also, the long-term outcomes range widely from full recovery to the permanent tetraplegia or paraplegia. Some of the complications regarding this may include of muscle atrophy, pressure sores, infections and some breathing issues. In most of the cases, the damage occurs from physical trauma such as car accidents, gunshots, falls or some sort of sports injuries but then it also results from non-traumatic causes including infection, tumors and insufficient blood flows. Diagnosis is mainly done on the basis of the symptoms and medical imaging.
For prevention of spinal cord injury certain individual measures include of using safety equipment, societal measures includes of safety regulations in sports and traffic and improvements of the equipment. The treatment of the spinal cord injury begins with the restriction of the further motion of the spine by maintaining adequate blood pressure. In most of the cases, the spinal cord injury generally requires of long-term physical and occupational therapy and especially if it interferes with daily living activities.