The human body has 206 bones, and according to the University of Maryland Spine Program, roughly 30 bones make up the spine. These bones are stacked on top of each other to create a hollow tube that protects our spinal cord, much like our skull protects our brain.
The spinal cord is a set of nerves that sends signals from our brains to other parts of the body. These signals control our breath, our movements, our vital organs and basically everything that makes humans “tick.” As a result, human bodies can be affected in dramatic ways when the spinal cord is even slightly damaged.
For example, Christopher Reeve – the original Superman to most Americans – suffered a cervical spinal cord injury when he was thrown from his horse during an event. The trauma to his spine, unfortunately, led to his paralysis. Of course, not all spinal cord injuries are this severe, but all must be treated with the utmost care. After all, if Superman is not immune from these accidents, then none of us are.
Risk Factors and Prevention
The Mayo Clinic states that males between the ages of 16 and 30 are at the highest risk for spinal cord injuries because of how active they are in sports and other physical activities. Spinal cord trauma, however, does not just occur on the gridiron. The
Mayo Clinic lists the most common causes for spinal cord injuries apart from sports and recreation:
- Car Accidents account for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries.
- Falls account for more than 25 percent of spinal cord injuries, with senior citizens being at the highest risk.
- Acts of Violence such as gunshots, beatings and knife wounds account for as much as 15 percent of all spine related injuries.
- The addition of
alcohol use increases the risk of spinal cord injuries significantly.
These occurrences can cause injuries ranging from minor daily discomfort to paralysis or even death. If you believe you have suffered a
spinal cord injury you should immediately seek medical care. Next, anyone who has been injured in a car accident, a fall or at work should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.