What causes a spinal cord injury?

If you work in a potentially hazardous environment, you may face a higher risk of injury. Spinal cord injuries are particularly dangerous, as they can impact all aspects of a person’s life.

These injuries can result from a variety of circumstances but are also very common in heavy-duty working environments. The following are a few common causes of spinal cord damage, and what to do if you experience one.

What causes spinal cord injuries?

The spine contains a variety of physical components, including discs, vertebrae, and ligaments. All of these components can incur damage as a result of an accident, which can include car collisions, slips and falls, violent assaults, and sports injuries. In most cases, damage results from a forceful, sudden blow to the area.

When the injury is serious, certain emergency symptoms will present. These can include numbness, extreme pain, problems with bowel and bladder control, difficulty breathing, and paralysis. These symptoms require immediate medical attention to prevent the condition from worsening.

What should you do if you suspect spinal cord damage?

If you believe that you or another person has a spinal cord injury, do not attempt movement. Moving a person can lead to even more severe effects, so they should remain where they are. The only exception is when the person is at serious risk of another injury if they remain in the same location.

Do your best to limit the person’s movement by gently stabilizing their head and neck. You can do so by placing rolled-up towels or cloths on either side of the neck. If the person exhibits other issues, such as excessive bleeding, begin first aid right away. Have someone contact the police for immediate medical assistance, as paramedics will have the tools and knowledge to safely move the person and administer essential treatment.