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Back Injuries on the Job 101: The Spinal Cord and Nerves
Back injuries involving severe trauma frequently lead to spinal cord damage. Ensuing problems could be life-changing, with victims suffering partial or complete paralysis. Immediate treatment is imperative, so it’s important to understand the condition and recognize symptoms.
What Is the Spinal Cord?
The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerve fibers enclosed within the spine. This important group of fibers connects most parts of the body to the brain. Together, the brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system.
Dozens of spinal nerves emerge from the spinal cord, appearing in short branches known as roots. Sensory roots carry information from all over the body to the brain. Motor roots deliver commands from the brain to various body parts, including skeletal muscles.
Common Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are among the most permanently debilitating of all back problems. These injuries are defined based on where they occur and the severity of the damage. These factors also determine the extent to which the patient can control his or her limbs following injury. A complete injury occurs when the patient loses nearly all feeling and motor function below the site of damage. Those with incomplete injuries retain some motor or sensory function.
If the injury impacts the arms, legs, trunk and internal organs, it may be referred to as quadriplegia. Paraplegia occurs when the legs, trunk and internal organs are affected, but not the arms and hands.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Top spinal cord injury symptoms include loss of motor function and feeling in the affected areas. Additionally, spinal cord damage could lead to loss of bladder control, difficulty breathing, exaggerated spasms, lack of coordination or an intense stinging sensation.
In the aftermath of a spinal cord injury, it’s important to get in touch with a trusted workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP at your earliest convenience at (770) 214-2500.