A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spine that can cause permanent changes to the body below the injury site. Paralysis, loss of sensation, strength, and body functions can occur.
A spinal cord injury happens from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spine.
SCI can be caused by a traumatic force to the spinal cord resulting in fracture, dislocation, or compression of vertebrae in the spine. Any incident penetrating and injuring the spine, such as a car accident, blunt force, or a gunshot wound, can cause spinal cord injury.
Once this occurs, bleeding and inflammation can cause more damage for days or months after the initial injury.
Other causes of SCI are cancer, infection, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis.
The recovery period depends entirely upon the severity of the damage, which differs from person to person. For example, a mild injury can heal, while severe damage can cause permanent paralysis. Therefore, progress from an SCI can be slow and requires patience and a good frame of mind.
Spasms are sudden involuntary contractions of muscles and are usually painful.
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