In the age of modern medicine with laser surgeries and other non-invasive techniques, it seems the frequency of spinal injuries and conditions should be dropping, but that isn’t the case. Spinal injuries and problems are still prevalent, as they can be caused by something as thoughtless as poor posture in both sleeping and sitting positions. Those who have suffered spinal injuries due to impact are not the only ones who should be concerned with their spinal health. Anyone who suffers pain in their spine should get examined by a doctor, and pay close attention to their symptoms. Some symptoms can be attributed to serious spinal conditions and should not be ignored.
Disc bulges and herniation’s can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves in the lumbar spine and have several detrimental effects. In addition to disc changes, a narrow spinal canal can also cause pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This condition, myelopathy, can impair various functions of the body. It is important to monitor symptoms and seek medical attention should the condition worsen.
3 Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Bowel and Bladder Changes
Damage to lumbar nerves can impair the bowels and bladder, causing changes in function or even incontinence. Sexual performance and even walking can also be affected. These changes can be the sign of a severe disc herniation with myelopathy, which can cause paraplegia in rare cases.
Arm Pain, Numbness, Weakness
Damage to cervical nerves can affect one or both arms. Pain, numbness, and weakness in the arm(s) is a condition called radiculopathy. Arm pain caused by cervical damage is typically described as a shooting, electric pain from the shoulder to the fingers. Numbness and tingling, as well as weakness, are other symptoms of concern.
Dizziness, Coordination and Balance Issues
Spinal cord compression can alter balance and coordination, affecting one’s ability to walk or handle small objects. These symptoms may be accompanied by the previous symptoms. Twisting and bending the spine may further provoke the symptoms.
Few people learn to live with their severe spinal injuries and see improvement. Spinal injuries tend to worsen over time without intervention and are further impacted by the age-induced spinal degeneration. If left untreated, permanent spinal cord and nerve damage is common, and paraplegia is a rare possibility. While injections and physical therapy can provide some relief, surgery is often the only effective option at alleviating spinal cord compression before the condition becomes too severe. It is best to consult with a doctor in order to determine the best treatment for a satisfactory quality of life.