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Recovering from spinal damage

Missouri residents who get into car accidents can be left with severe, debilitating injuries. For example, anything involving the brain and spinal cord can take a long time to heal from and may have lasting complications.

Mayo Clinic states that there are both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries. Complete means that there is no feeling, motor function, or sensation below the affected break in the spine. Incomplete means that some sensory or motor function remains. The severity of an incomplete injury can differ from person to person. In some cases, movement and sensation can be restored to the affected areas. In others, there is a permanent loss of movement, or permanent damage to the nerves.

Other symptoms not frequently associated with spinal cord injuries include:

  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Loss of control over the bowels or bladder
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing or secretions in the lungs
  • Changes in sexual functions or fertility

The more common symptoms include difficulty moving, pain or stinging because of the damaged nerves, and altered sensations.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development states that there is no way to reverse spinal cord damage at this point in time. However, treatments are available. This can include physical therapy, surgery, steroid medication, or traction. There are also experimental surgeries available in which the inflammation will be controlled, and cell regeneration will be encouraged in the damaged nerves. However, there are no long-term studies on these new options.

Those who have suffered from spinal cord damage may find themselves having to adjust to their injury when moving forward in life. Know that certain things can be done to make transitions easier, such as gaining legal compensation for medical-related financial losses or going through physical therapy.

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