September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Organizations like the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) and the United Spinal Association use the event to educate people about spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and to raise awareness on how serious back injuries can be. Patterson Legal Group has successfully represented thousands of people that have incurred spine injuries in an accident. To help people understand how severe back damage can be, our spinal cord injury lawyers offer the information below.
Why Spinal Cord Injuries Can Be Devastating
Most people understand that a spinal cord injury is one where the spinal cord is damaged. However, many people are unaware of how grave SCIs can be. The spinal cord is a series of nerves that relay information from your brain to your body. In addition to being a vital component of your body’s functions, the spinal cord is also extremely complex and sensitive.
Due to the complexity and importance of the spinal cord, spinal injuries can be life-altering injuries. When you suffer damage to the spinal cord, you may experience:
- Loss of movement
- Difficulty with balance and walking
- Impaired breathing
- Weakness and incoordination in any part of your body
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes
- Diminished sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Involuntary reflex activities or spasms
- Intense pain caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing your lungs
- Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head, or back
- Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
- In extreme cases, paralysis
Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Stats
To help people understand how common spinal cord damage is, the NSCISC published the following information for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month:
- Approximately 302,000 Americans are living with SCIs
- Roughly 18,000 suffer SCIs every year
- The average age of SCI victims is 43
- 79% of SCI victims are male
- Since 2015, approximately 30% of people that suffer from SCIs go back to the hospital due to complications from their original injury
- The most common causes of SCIs are:
How Can I Prevent Spinal Cord Damage?
Although accidents can happen at any time and for any reason, there are many things that you can do in order to lower your chances of an accident or lessen the severity of your accident injuries. The Kansas and Missouri injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group recommend follow these five safety tips:
- Wear seat belts: whether you’re driving or riding in an automobile, always wear a seat belt. Seat belts are designed to keep you securely in your seat and prevent ejection during a crash or sudden stop. They are one of the most effective ways to protect against spinal cord injuries in car wrecks.
- Prevent slips and falls: slips, trips, and falls are a major cause of spinal cord injuries, especially among older adults. To reduce the risk of falls, keep your living spaces well-lit and free of hazards, install handrails on stairs, use non-slip mats in the bathroom, and wear footwear with grippy soles. Additionally, regular exercise can help you maintain balance and strength in order to avoid falling.
- Drive defensively: avoid aggressive and reckless driving behaviors that can lead to accidents, such as excessive speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Defensive driving practices, like obeying traffic laws, maintaining a safe following distance, and focusing on driving conditions, can help you avoid car crashes that may result in spinal cord injuries.
- Practice pool safety: if you enjoy swimming or diving, always be cautious and follow safe diving practices. Never dive into shallow or unclear water, as this can result in head-first impacts that can lead to spinal cord injuries. Always check the water depth, and if you’re unsure, enter the water feet first in order to avoid a swimming pool accident.
- Use protective gear for sports and recreation: when participating in contact sports or high-risk recreational activities like biking, skateboarding, riding a scooter, or skiing, wear appropriate protective gear. Helmets, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and other safety equipment can help reduce the risk of head and spinal injuries in the event of a fall, bicycle accident, or other collision.
Patterson Legal Group Is Here For You During Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month
The injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group hope that you found this Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month useful. Please share it with your family and friends to raise awareness of these injuries. Should you or a member of your family suffer spinal cord damage due to the negligence or recklessness of another party then contact us for immediate assistance.
You can reach Patterson Legal Group 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone at (816) 920-0000. You can also connect with us online by submitting your claim information through this encrypted contact form or connecting with one of our LiveChat representatives. Remember, our lawyers work on a “no win, no fee” basis, so you won’t pay any legal fees unless money has been recovered on your behalf.
Patterson Legal Group has been representing injury victims in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma for more than 25 years. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys have helped thousands of injury victims and have recovered more than $250-million in settlements on their behalf. For an unrivaled combination of high-level legal services and extraordinary customer service, Patterson Legal Group is the personal injury firm for you.