Spinal injuries are major health events that can significantly impact well-being. Common causes of spinal injuries include car accidents and falls from heights. Occasionally, complications from surgery also cause them. Spinal injuries can be difficult to diagnose and treat and lead to long-term disability. However, it is possible to regain some or all function given proper treatment and therapy. If you or a loved one is facing spinal injury, here are a few challenges you should expect and ways to overcome them.
Challenges to Diagnosis
Correctly diagnosing the nature of a spinal injury requires a specialist in the field and advanced technology. X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans may all be necessary. Unfortunately, these tests can be expensive and sometimes inaccurate, even with the most skilled providers and the best equipment. Common symptoms of spinal injury include headaches, neck pain, swelling, and difficulty with walking or coordination, all of which indicate possible nerve damage. Seeing multiple specialists may be necessary before a complete diagnosis is achieved. Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing further injury and stabilizing the spine so that recovery can be pursued.
Challenges to Treatment
Damage to the spinal cord is one of the most complex injuries to treat. Oral and intravenous medication, surgery, physical therapy, and experimental treatments like nerve regeneration and the prevention of cell deaths can all be effective. These treatment challenges are one of the reasons spine injuries are so expensive. However, there is hope for future recovery as modern medicine continues to advance. Prosthetics and other devices may improve mobility and increase your ability to function. In a few cases, new protocols for treatment designed by leaders in the field have even reversed the damage, although more research and development are needed to make this a widespread reality.
Repairing Mental Health
Deteriorated mental health often accompanies traumatic injury, especially when it results in long-term disability. Mental afflictions such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, and anxiety are common among people who have suffered traumatic injuries. Support groups, both online and in-person, among people experiencing similar health challenges, have been proven to help patients coping with spinal cord injuries. They promote a sense of community and empowerment. Psychiatric therapy can also help alleviate suffering and restore a sense of well-being to those who have suffered spinal cord injury.
With time, the right guidance from experts, and dedication, it is possible to recover partially or fully from a spinal injury. Those who’ve been injured can have hope that their quality of life will improve.