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Things you need to know about paraplegia

A spinal cord injury can change your life forever. This is true regardless of whether you or a loved one was injured.

Paraplegia is one of the most serious types of spinal cord injuries. This is often the result of a motor vehicle or sports-related accident. In short, this means that part of your spinal cord has been injured. The symptoms associated with paraplegia differ from one person to the next, based on extent of the injury.

It is common for paraplegia to cause one or more of the following symptoms:

-- Inability to move your body below the area of the injury

-- Inability to feel anything below the area of the injury

-- Limp muscles, particularly in the legs and arms

-- Inability to control your bladder and bowel

Anybody who suffers from one or more of these symptoms, as the result of paraplegia, will be faced with difficulty living a normal day to day life.

It is important to note that there are times when signs of paraplegia are present, but do not last forever. This can be the case if the spinal cord is simply swollen or bruised, as opposed to broken.

The spinal cord is one part of the body you never want to injure. If you or a loved one suffer a paraplegic injury, it is a must to understand the short and long term impact. There are treatment options available. There may not be a cure, but treatment can help the person lead a better life. Unfortunately, long term treatment for this injury and related accommodations can be expensive.

Source: Drugs.com, "Paraplegia After Spinal Cord Injury," accessed May. 14, 2015

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