A spine injury is any damage done to any part of the spinal cord. It is also any damage done to the nerves that are at the end of the spinal canal. This injury results in a permanent change in body functions, sensation, and strength right below the area of injury. If you experience spinal cord injury, you may feel the effect mentally, socially, and emotionally.
Symptoms Of A Spine Injury
Being able to control your limbs after a spine injury depends on the severity of the injury to your spinal cord and the injured area along your spinal cord. “Completeness” is often used for describing the severity of the injury, and it is classified as incomplete and complete. The injury is called complete when you’ve lost all ability to feel and control all movement below the spinal cord injury. The injury is incomplete if you lost just some sensory or motor function below the affected area. Spinal cord injury may also lead to additional paralysis often referred to as tetraplegia and paraplegia. It is called tetraplegia when your spinal cord injury affects your entire pelvic area, legs, trunk, hands, and arms. It is called paraplegia when the paralysis affects parts or all of the pelvic organs, legs, and trunk.
Spinal cord injury can be of any kind and can become obvious when one or more of the following symptoms or signs shows up:
• Limitation in your movement
• An altered sensation, which includes an inability to feel cold and heat
• Loss of bladder/bowel control
• Exaggerated spasms or reflex activities
• Changes in sexual sensitivity, function, and fertility
• Intense stinging sensation or pain caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
• Difficulty coughing and breathing
Causes Of Spine Injuries
Damage to the disks of the spinal column, ligaments and vertebrae are all causes of spinal cord injury. The spinal cord can be damaged too. Spinal cord injury may be traumatic if it is a result of a traumatic blow to your spine. This blow may dislocate, fracture, compress or crush one or more of your vertebrae. A knife wound or gunshot that penetrates the spinal cord can also cause this injury.
The cause can also be non-traumatic, and it can be a result of disk degeneration of the spine, or perhaps infection, inflammation, cancer, or arthritis.
Can Chiropractic Care Help Treat Spine Injuries?
Yes, spine injuries can be treated with chiropractic care. The treatment by a chiropractor involves hands-on spinal manipulation. This manipulation assists in aligning the body’s musculoskeletal structure, particularly the spine, allowing it to heal without the use of medication or surgery. The use of manipulation is to help restore mobility of the joints that have been affected by tissue injury.
Contact a chiropractor if you experience any of the symptoms of the spinal injury discussed above. The treatment plan for spinal injuries administered by a chiropractor is to primary relieve you of the pain of connective tissues, bones, joints, and muscles. The treatment is non-invasive and natural, making it a great option for those with spinal cord injuries.
How is Spine Injury Diagnosed?
Your chiropractor will examine your entire spine if you experience any of the symptoms of spinal cord injury. The areas of ligament injury, muscle spasm, intervertebral disk injury, and restricted joint motion will be identified. A diagnostic technique called motion and static palpation may then be used for further evaluation.
The chiropractor will also try to understand your body’s mechanics by analyzing how you walk. While you walk, notes on your posture and spinal alignment will be taken. All these are meant to help with the diagnosis process. In addition, an MRI or X-ray of your spine might be done to evaluate you further and determine the best treatment plan for your symptoms.
Chiropractic Treatment For Spine Injury
The severity of your spinal cord injury will determine the treatment plan that you will have to follow. Spinal manipulation is the most common chiropractic technique for treating spinal cord injury. Some of the commonly used techniques are…
This technique is gentle and hands-on. It is a type of spinal manipulation for treating herniated disks. Rather than directing force to your spine, a slow pumping action is used by the chiropractor.
This is a non-thrusting technique often used by chiropractors. Without thrusting into the spine, the chiropractor applies force using a specialized hand-held instrument. This technique of manipulation is very useful for older patients with degenerative joint syndrome.
Specific Spinal Manipulation
Spinal cord injury may cause restricted or abnormal movement. A chiropractor will identify the spinal joints that are affected. The gentle thrusting technique will then be employed to stimulate the nervous system and stretch soft tissue so the normal motion of the spine can be restored.
To further complement spinal manipulation, the chiropractor may use some manual therapies. Examples of some of the manual therapies are:
• Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy
• Manual resistance and joint stretching techniques
• Therapeutic massage
• Trigger point therapy
• Interferential electrical stimulation
Benefits Of Treating Spinal Injuries With Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care and spinal manipulation are generally considered safe and effective for treating spinal cord injuries. Acute low back pain is a spine injury that when treated with chiropractic care gets better in less than six weeks.
Spinal cord injury can result in neck pains and headaches, but chiropractic care can help treat them both. Generally, the use of one or all of the chiropractic treatment techniques will help improve your mechanics and reduce the symptoms of spinal cord injury.
However, spinal manipulation is not recommended for people with spinal cord compression, osteoporosis, or inflammatory arthritis. It is also not recommended for those who take blood-thinning medications. Patients with a history of cancer should also get clearance from their doctor before going for spinal manipulation.
Chiropractic care for a spinal cord injury involves the complete evaluation of the patient involved. Symptoms that individual patients experience are unique, and that’s the reason for the examination. In addition to the techniques employed by the chiropractor, therapeutic exercise may be prescribed to help in restoring the normal motion of a person’s spine.