Over 40,000 UK citizens have a form of chronic spinal cord injury & many of them go ahead to file a personal injury claim.
Back Up – a leading charity that helps people affected by spinal cord injuries – claims that over 40,000 UK citizens have a form of chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). Furthermore, an additional 1,000 suffer the same fate annually. SCI has worryingly continued to become more prevalent.
Consultant Wagih El Masri, the erstwhile chairman of the British Association of Spinal Cord Injury Specialists, alludes that SCI has increased by threefold over the last 30 years. Possible causes of this increase include population growth in tandem with a significant ageing population. Therefore, older people are experiencing more cases of slips, trips, and falls.
Beyond the muscle, cartilage, and bone that make up the spine, the spinal cord extends horizontally along the length of the back and is crucial to a myriad of bodily features. An information superhighway – the spine is home to over 13.5 billion nerve cells – that maintains and relays a steady deluge of two-way signals from the brain to individual bodily systems.
This is the main reason why spinal injuries can result in several complications in other parts of the body. If a spinal injury is sustained in an accident, it can trigger a reduced or total loss of movement in certain areas of the body, including:
The higher up the spine the injury occurs, the more the risk. For instance, a spinal cord injury that occurs close to/on the neck can cause paralysis to the body below that point. Conversely, a similar injury below or at the hip may cause affect the body from the hip downwards.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries include accidents at work, sport and leisure activities, slips and falls, road accidents, and more. According to a 2015 study, some of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries were ranked as shown below:
Perhaps shocking to note is the fact that falls account for more SCI’s than road and traffic accidents.
Beyond a loss of sensation or paralysis, SCI can also affect the emotional and mental health of the patient. The constant worry and fear that one may never lead a normal life can cause the individual to spiral into a deep depression and chronic anxiety. This stark and rather unfavourable reality can have serious implications on their career, personal relationships, and families.
Despite the devastation and hurt that is synonymous with spinal cord injuries, there are still promising signs of hope. Thanks to ground-breaking research in nanotechnology (the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular and supramolecular scale), brain interfaces, and stem cells – there is a growing belief that a lasting treatment may soon emerge for spinal cord injuries.
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