Many people do not realize how life-changing and long-term a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be. Not only will they suffer mentally from this type of injury, but they will also experience chronic pain for the rest of their lives, which can take a tremendous toll on the body.
However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), severe spinal cord injuries can also affect a person’s bladder and bowel control, as well as their blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.
Why are spinal cord injuries a long-term concern?
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most damaging injuries a person can experience. The reason for this is because of the various ways they affect the human body over a long period of time. Many people who receive a spinal cord injury diagnosis may think that they will eventually heal. However, even if some of the symptoms of this type of injury fade or resolve after medical treatment, spinal cord injury victims are known to struggle with several different medical complications for the remainder of their lives.
The different long-term effects of SCI
There are many types of long-term effects that SCI victims experience. Some are more common than others, including the following:
- Depression: When a person learns that they have a SCI, this can significantly affect their mental health. They may suffer with depression for several months or years following this type of injury. Learning to adapt to new changes caused by their injury often leaves people feeling hopeless, tired, frustrated, stressed, and more.
- Infections: Since SCI can impact many different areas of the human body, individuals may lose control of certain parts of their body. This can lead to infections, such as kidney infections, bladder infections, pneumonia, kidney stones, and more.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis causes a person’s bones to become weak, which can lead to them breaking very easily. Therefore, when a person has osteoporosis, they may suffer multiple broken or fractured bones from simply bumping into objects. Most people believe that only elderly individuals have osteoporosis, but many individuals are diagnosed with this condition after a few years of having a SCI.
- Paralysis: Paralysis is one of the most expected and devastating long-term effects of SCI. Although the type of paralysis is based on the SCI that the person is experiencing, this condition is almost always permanent and affects the area below the injury site.
- Syringomyelia: When a cyst develops in the spinal cord, this is referred to as syringomyelia. This condition can arise within months after a SCI, and it often causes numbness, tingling, and weakness. Unfortunately, this condition only becomes worse over time and often leads to individuals needing surgeries.
- Muscle spasticity: Muscle spasticity is when an individual experiences twitches or spasms in their muscles that they cannot control. They may begin noticing certain muscles occasionally moving on their own. However, this condition can become worse and lead to the muscles becoming stuck in place for long periods of time, which often causes pain, suffering, and mobility decline.
How does your diet change with a spinal cord injury?
The National Library of Medicine recently released a report explaining the diets that individuals with spinal cord injuries must follow. The main reason that healthcare providers recommend special diets for SCI patients is because of their risks of severe chronic cardiometabolic disorders and obesity. There are several causes, but these risks are mostly because of “deterioration in body composition, hypometabolic rate, and endometabolic dysregulation” caused by their SCI. As a result, victims of these injuries must follow a healthy diet that gives them the proper nutrition to help them cope with their symptoms.
Most diets recommended by physicians for SCI patients include fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By choosing to consume these types of foods, they will be able to reduce their chances of developing urinary tract infections, neurogenic bowels, and pressure wounds, which are common in individuals with SCI.
In addition, they will need to watch their calories to maintain a healthy weight after SCI. Three well-balanced meals each day is highly recommended, and these meals should consist of a type of meat (or meat substitute), a vegetable, a fruit, low-fat dairy, and grain.
The Columbus attorneys at Soroka & Associates encourage clients to not lose hope
Spinal cord injuries currently do not have a cure, but researchers are working hard to come up with new tools to help alleviate patients’ pain and suffering. Our personal injury lawyers at Soroka & Associates have helped many clients with these types of injuries through the legal process. While we know and understand that you may feel helpless and want to give up hope, our attorneys are here to let you know that you do not have to go through this alone. We will help you navigate this long and difficult process, and we will remain by your side every step of the way.
With our knowledge and experience, we will fight for your right to the compensation you deserve. If your medical bills and other expenses are accumulating, hire a personal injury attorney from Soroka & Associates to gather evidence and expert testimony to build a strong case against the defendant as well as ensure that you receive the proper compensation for your injuries.
If you or someone you know suffered a spinal cord injury due to another person’s negligence, please get in touch with Soroka & Associates at your earliest convenience. Our team is aware of the difficulties that these types of injuries cause, which is why we believe in holding at-fault parties accountable for their negligent actions. Contact a Columbus personal injury lawyer today by calling our office or submitting our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation.