Basic tips to prevent spinal cord injuries

Studies show that there are about 500,000 people in the United States, alone, are suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries or SCI. The people who are usually involved are those within the age bracket of 16 to 30 years old. Experts say that in this age bracket, there is 82 percent of males who are greatly affected and women take the rest.

In both genders, it is said that the most common causes include vehicular accidents, heavy falls and wounds brought by gunshots. Among men, the leading causes of spinal cord injuries include driving and sports related accidents while in women, the leading causes are in the form of heavy falls as well as medical or surgical complications.

If spinal cord injuries are not diagnosed and treated the earliest possible time, there’s a great chance for it to develop into “transverse myelitis”. This is among the rarest neurological disorders there are which is usually caused by an inflamed spinal cord. In the US alone, 400 to 1,500 people are affected annually. Experts say that this disorder should be carefully monitored and treated because if not, it can paralyze a person for life.

Prevention is the key

Experts say that in any condition or illness, prevention is the best and the cheapest key. To be able to avoid this, the first thing that one needs to know is the familiarizing him or herself about the leading causes of SCI and how to prevent these at all times. Studies show that the leading causes of spinal cord injuries are vehicular accidents, heavy falls, and sports related activities. Here are some of the tips in each respective cause that can help you prevent acquiring the disorder:

1. Vehicular accidents. Studies show that auto or car accidents is the major cause of SCI and greatly affects people—especially male—below 65 years of age. To avoid car accidents, drivers should always:

– wear a safety belt as well as all the passengers inside to minimize the impact of pressure in case there’s an accident;

– adhere to child safety practices especially is there are infants or young children inside the car;

– ask children 12 and below to be in the back seat with their seatbelts fastened properly;

– follow road rule and obey the appropriate speed limits all the time;

– be clear-headed—without the influence of drugs or alcohol—when driving so as not to cause accidents to his or herself as well as to others.

2. Falling inside the house. For people who are 65 and above and for women in general, falling—especially inside the house—is the number one cause of spinal cord injuries. To avoid this at home or in the office, make sure that the:

– walkways are clear and free of any debris such as electrical cords that can cause tripping;

– floors are clean especially to greases, water spills and other liquids so nobody would slip;

– rugs are non-skid to lessen the possibilities of slipping;

– handrails are properly installed in stairways as well as in areas that may be wet such as in bathrooms;

– areas where people usually stay at such as living areas are well lighted;

Through the years, there have been so many developments and advances when it comes to diagnosis, treatments, and rehabilitation of people with SCI. These advances which include surgery, rehabilitation therapies, drug treatments, stem cells, nerve cell transplantation, and nerve regeneration, help SCI patients to be able to survive and manage all the pain and inconvenience brought by the condition. But, up until this time, no cure for SCI has been discovered. With this case at hand, people are advised to do everything they can to prevent having spinal cord injuries.