Learn About Ailments | Spinal Injury

Spinal Injury

Spinal injuries can be attributed to sudden events or trauma to the back or from disease and disorders of the spine. Poor posture is also seen as a major factor in spinal injuries and back problems. Injury can occur to the vertebrae, discs, spinal chord and the connective muscle and tissue.
Spinal Injury

In This Article
Causes of spinal injury Symptoms of spinal injury
Diagnosis of spinal injury Related terms

Spinal injuries can occur during an accident or while performing everyday tasks such as gardening, lifting objects or getting in and out of the car. In many cases, the accident or event is just a trigger which highlights the presence of an existing degenerative spinal problem.

There is an ongoing debate about whether manual labour increases the risks of a spinal injury. While the continual twisting and bending movements may advance degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae, people who lift heavy weights (i.e. weightlifters) are not as prone to disc problems as those professions who perform regular twists and bends during execution of their daily activities or sport (e.g. gymnasts).

A common spinal injury is that of 'whiplash'. This is an over-extension of the neck which affects the top end of the spine. The problem usually occurs after a car accident and the effects can last for weeks, months or even years after the initial event.

Other than the main symptom of pain, a spinal injury can cause a number of problems such as:
  • Tingling or numbness in the limbs - this is caused by compression of the nerves in the spine.
  • Muscle weakness – the muscles in the arms or legs can feel weak.
  • ladder/bowel function – when the spinal cord is compressed there can be a disturbance in bladder or bowel control. Sexual function can also be disturbed.
  • Dizziness – damage to the vertebrae can result in compression of the arteries in the neck. This can bring about dizziness when the neck is moved.

Spinal injuries are extremely serious and you should seek emergency medical attention to minimise the risk of permanent damage or other associated problems. Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis so it is important that the individual not be moved until medical help arrives.

A diagnosis will be made using diagnostic testing methods such as X-rays, MRI or CT scans.

Back pain
Neck pain
Slipped disc
Broken neck
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
Motor function

Therapies to consider
Acupressure Acupuncture Alexander Technique
Bowen Therapy Chiropractic Craniosacral Therapy
Deep Tissue Massage Hawaiian Massage Holistic Massage
Massage Osteopathy Personal Training
Physiotherapy Pilates Reiki
Remedial Massage Shiatsu Sports Massage
Weight Management Yoga

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