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What are spinal cord injuries?

Some people understand the severity of any type of spinal cord injury. Others believe this is in the same category as a back injury. While there is no denying that some spinal cord injuries are more serious than others, any type can change a person's life forever.

A spinal cord injury can result from motor vehicle accidents, acts of violence and abuse, falls and sports injuries among other circumstances.

In many cases, a spinal cord injury leads to paralysis. When this happens, a person's life is changed forever. Not only will he or she be faced with new life circumstances, but the costs associated with this are likely to be robust.

It is a common myth that the spinal cord has to be severed for a person to experience a complete loss of function. There are times when the spinal cord is bruised, crushed or stretched, all of which can lead to some loss of function or paralysis.

The primary job of the spinal cord is to coordinate body movement. When the spinal cord is injured, it may no longer be able to communicate properly with the brain. This leads to a loss of autonomic, motor and sensory functions.

There are things you can do to help lessen the chance of suffering a spinal cord injury, such as wearing a seat belt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Even then, you never know when an accident will happen.

If a person suffers a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party, he or she may want to collect information in regards to his or her legal rights.

Source: The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, "New Injury Information Packet" Dec. 04, 2014

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