The spinal column is one of the most important parts of a human body. Together with the brain, it controls your body’s nervous system, and when it is injured, movement can be hampered, and a host of other problems can be encountered, from psychological trauma (feeling helpless, among other things), to financial strain (treatments are not cheap), to social issues. Depending upon the type of spinal damage incurred, partial or full paralysis may result.
Damage to the spine can be caused by a fall, a car accident, violence (a knife wound, gunshot, or getting beaten up), or due to an illnesses like polio or arthritis. While some injuries are permanent, it’s still possible to lessen the damage and reduce the pain from a spinal injury. There are many treatments available, ranging from nonsurgical spine care to—as a last resort—surgery.
When you are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, the type of injury determines the treatment to be undertaken. Early interventions are extremely important—immediately after the injury occurs, for example, the spine should be immobilized to prevent the damage from getting worse. Carrying boards, neck collars, braces, traction, or even sedation may be needed to keep the injured person immobilized while medical personnel perform an evaluation.
In the latter stages of treatment, other methods may be considered, including medications to deal with the pain, physical activities designed to keep the muscles working (complete bed rest is not recommended), and even direct injections into the injured disks. Nonsurgical spinal care is particularly recommended to be part of the rehabilitation process. This care program includes physical therapy to help strengthen muscles that are still in use, and training the injured person in new skills that can help them adjust better to their situation.
Chiropractic care is also highly recommended as a way to reduce pain in a natural way and to help improve a patient’s quality of life. A chiropractor does manual adjustments of the spine, believing that a lot of pain from such injuries occurs because of misaligned vertebrae. Aside from spinal manipulations though, a chiropractor may also use deep tissue massage to help promote relaxation, ultrasound, and some electrical stimulation devices.
Having a spinal cord injury doesn’t automatically mean surgery. For non-threatening or less serious injuries, nonsurgical spinal care should be tried in order to determine whether an operation is really needed. If surgery is deemed unnecessary, then chiropractic care can do a lot to greatly reduce pain from the injury.