Most spinal cord injuries are preventable and if you know the causes of these injuries, one can help avoiding becoming a victim. Spinal cord Injury happens because of damage in vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or spinal cord itself. All injuries under these are stated as spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries are majorly due to trauma and it can also be because of nontraumatic causes.
A Spinal Cord injury can result from sudden trauma accidents which can fracture, crushes or dislocates one or more vertebrae of the spinal cord. Diseases like arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections or disk degeneration of the spine can lead to non-traumatic spinal cord injury.
Main causes of Spinal cord injuries are:
- Automobile accidents – Auto and motorcycle accidents are one of the leading cause of spinal cord injury, which accounts for more than 35 percent of new spinal cord injuries every year.
- Falls: You don’t have to be elderly or infirm to suffer a fall. A misplaced step as you navigate stairs, a fight near a flight of stairs, or even a medical event, such as a seizure or fainting, can all lead to catastrophic falls. Spinal cord injury after age 65 is most often caused by a fall. Overall, falls cause more than one-quarter of spinal cord injuries.
- Acts of violence: Around 15% of spinal cord injuries results from violent encounters, often involving gunshot and knife wounds.
- From Sports and recreation injuries : Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause about 9 percent of spinal cord injuries and are more common in developed world.
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol is also the cause of spinal cord injury. Alcohol usage is a factor in about 1 out of every 4 spinal cord injuries.
- Other Diseases: There are diseases like Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and inflammation of the spinal cord which can cause non-traumatic spinal cord injury.
How to prevent Spinal Cord Injuries?
As spinal cord injuries often happen due to unpredictable events, the best one can do is to reduce the risk by knowing the common causes of the injury. Some risk-reducing measures include:
- Always wear a seatbelt while driving the car
- Always wear proper protective gear while playing sports
- One should never dive in a swimming pool unless it is examined for the depth and free of rocks