Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord runs from the occipital bone at the base of the skull all the way down between the first and second lumbar vertebrae (lower back). Along with the brain, the spinal cord composes our central nervous system, responsible for communications between the brain and many parts of the body. These signals transmit signals for sensation as well as motor commands for movement. In patients with spinal cord injuries, these communications are impaired, generally through physical trauma or congenital birth defects.
Trauma in spinal cord injuries (motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents) varies widely: pressure, severing, lacerations, bruising, or excessive stretching can all be serious enough to break down communications between the brain and the affected area. If the trauma is serious enough (or if our spinal discs have degenerated to this point) the vertebrae and spinal discs may shatter and impinge on the nearby spinal cord, where sharp shards of disc or bone can penetrate the membrane of the spinal canal and do serious damage to spinal nerves.
In serious cases, spinal cord injuries may leave the patient paralyzed, unable to move parts of his or her body. Generally speaking, the higher the trauma is on the spinal cord (closer to the occipital bone at the base of the skull) the more risk there is to a patient’s long-term mobility. This of course also depends on the severity of the injury. A serious laceration or severing high on the spinal cord may lead to quadriplegia, or paralysis of all extremities. While extensive physical therapy may improve a patient’s mobility and allow the brain to generate new ways of executing movement, some spinal cord injuries are too severe for physical therapy in its present state to have much of an effect. This is because damaged nerve cells in the spinal cord do not regenerate, whereas wounds in other parts of the body are gradually repaired.
The medical community is hard at work engineering new potential solutions to the problem of nerve cell regeneration. Stem cell research and the field of nanotechnology hold promising developments if public and private funding continues. Stem cell research focuses on learning about the various kinds of cells our bodies are able to produce, as well as how general stem cells are specialized into the incredible number of different cell types. Nanotechnology, on the other hand, is a field that incorporates a number of different sciences to manipulate and change matter on an extraordinarily small scale. Medical scientists hope to use both disciplines in repairing previously irreparable spinal cord injuries.
Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have significant experience in diagnosing and treating spinal cord injuries. The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Patients suffering from neck pain or lower back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE
Keywords: stem cell, spinal nerves, spinal cord injuries, physical therapy,
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