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  • A spinal cord injury can cause the following symptoms:

    • Lost or impaired movement

    • Loss of or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch

    • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from the lungs

    • Inability to control the bowel or bladder

    • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility

    • Exaggerated reflexes or spasms

    • Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord

    Emergency signs of a spinal cord injury after an accident include:

    • Extreme back pain or pressure in the neck, head, or back

    • Weakness, incoordination, or paralysis in any part of the body

    • Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes

    • Loss of bladder or bowel control

    • Difficulty with balance and walking

    • Impaired breathing after injury

    • An oddly positioned or twisted neck or back

  • Damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, spinal discs, or to the spinal cord itself can lead to spinal cord injuries.

    A traumatic spinal cord injury can be caused by a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine, leading to a fracture, dislocation, crushing, or compressing of one or more of the vertebrae. A gunshot or knife wound that penetrates and cuts the spinal cord can also lead to severe damage.

    Additional damage usually occurs over days or weeks after the injury as a result of bleeding, swelling, inflammation, and fluid accumulation in and around the spinal cord.

    Other potential causes of spinal cord injuries include:

    • Arthritis

    • Cancer

    • Inflammation

    • Infections

    • Disc degeneration of the spine

  • Patients with spinal cord injuries may require a treatment plan that includes pain management techniques, joint and soft tissue injections, and occupational medicine. The right approach to treatment will depend on the patient’s pain level and overall physical condition.

    Treatment for spinal cord injuries may incorporate pain management techniques, such as cold and heat therapy, mind-body techniques, gentle exercise, physical therapy, music therapy, biofeedback, therapeutic massage, and occupational therapy to help manage their symptoms. Each patient will receive personalized recommendations from their doctor for managing their pain.

    Westcare Clinics also offers joint and soft tissue injections to help minimize pain associated with a spinal cord injuries. These injections may include piriformis injection, epidural injections (interlaminar and transforaminal), sacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections.

    Westcare Clinics offers occupational medicine for patients who need to continue working while their bone heals. Our team of healthcare practitioners trains employers to adapt the workplace and worker responsibilities according to the physical limitations of an employee undergoing treatment.

  • Patients experiencing severe symptoms may need further treatment for soft tissue injuries. Advanced treatment may include surgery, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, physical therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation. The Westcare Clinics team is happy to answer any questions patients may have about obtaining advanced treatment for soft tissue injuries.

A spinal cord injury damages a part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal and has a permanent impact on physical strength, sensation, and other body functions. The effects of a spinal cord injury can extend to a person’s mental, emotional, and social well-being.


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