Decoding Spinal Cord Injury — Its Types and Levels

A Spinal Cord Injury is a serious medical condition that often results in permanent loss of function in one or more parts of your body. Hence, it requires immediate care, the right medication, and customized therapy from the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore, so that patients can gain better control over their lives and reduce the risk of chronic medical conditions. Having an understanding of the different types of Spinal Cord Injury and how they affect the body is also useful in this regard.

Understanding Spinal Cord Injury

A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is mutilation to the spinal cord that causes reversible or irreversible changes in its function. The damage to the spinal cord can occur in a variety of ways, although the most common cause is due to external trauma. While not nearly as prevalent, non-traumatic injury to the spinal cord is a possibility from causes such as tumors, blood loss, or stenosis. Its symptoms may include loss of muscle function, sensation, or autonomic function in the parts of the body supplied by the spinal cord below the level of the injury.

It is typically diagnosed with the help of a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray. The doctor will check the patient’s motor and sensory functions to assess the degree of damage. If there are any broken bones or tissue damage as a result of the injury, emergency surgery may be needed.

Types and levels of Spinal Cord Injury

There are two ways to classify a Spinal Cord Injury, one is by type and another is by level. There are two types of Spinal Cord Injury:

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury: It results in permanent damage to the affected part of the spinal cord and leads to paraplegia (lower body paralysis) or tetraplegia (paralysis in all limbs).
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: It results in partial damage to the affected part of the spinal cord. The patient’s ability to move and feel depends on how serious the injury is and which part of the spine was affected and the overall outcome is dependent on the patient’s health and medical history. Most Spinal Cord Injuries are incomplete, as medical professionals know how to administer prompt care so that the damage from the initial injury is contained.

By level, one can classify Spinal Cord Injuries based on which of the four sections of the spinal cord was affected. They are:

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: It is the most severe type of SCI, as the cervical area is the closest to the brain. A cervical SCI can cause partial or complete loss of functions along with associated medical complications, and may even lead to death. Those who recover may require permanent 24-hour medical care for the rest of their lives.
  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury: It affects the upper chest, abdominal muscles, and mid-back area. Damage to the thoracic portion of the spine can lead to loss of sensation in the legs and genitals, incontinence, lower back pain, and fever. A thoracic SCI typically leads to paraplegia, with arm and hand functionality unaffected. Once recovered, a patient may learn to move around in a wheelchair or even walk with the help of braces or a standing frame — depending on what their health was like at the time of the injury.
  • Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury: It affects the hips and legs. The lumbar portion of the spine carries more weight than any other part. Injuries here lead to varying degrees of loss of function in the lower body but do not affect the upper body. Depending on the patient’s strength, they may learn to walk with a frame or braces. Special equipment may be needed to compensate for the loss of bladder and/or bowel control.
  • Sacral Spinal Cord Injury: It affects the upper thighs, hips, buttocks, and genital area. This type of SCI is rare, and usually only occurs as a result of direct injury to the sacral area. Patients will experience some loss of function in the legs and hips as well as little or no bowel/bladder control, but will generally be able to walk.

The long-term treatment goals for a Spinal Cord Injury include rehabilitation and therapy to help the patient regain mobility and strength in parts of the body with nerve damage. A regenerative rehabilitation program consisting of Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cell Nutritive Therapy, various oral and intravenous medications, along with a holistic rehabilitation program comprising of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore can help a patient in their road to recovery. Having a support system of family, friends, and fellow patients will also provide some relief in these challenging times.

Everything you need to know about Disc Prolapse

If you had to list the most important parts of the human body, your spine would probably make it into the top three. After all, it helps us stand upright, walk around, and acts as the central information center, a speedway of communication between the brain and the body. So it’s no surprise that when anything goes wrong in the spinal region it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Disc prolapse is a prime example of a small issue becoming a major inconvenience and bringing about a world of pain. But what is disc prolapse? Let’s find out more about its causes and symptoms, and how it can be treated at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore.

What is a disc prolapse?

Your spine is composed of vertebrae, stacked atop each other. Between each vertebra is a rubber-like tissue that acts like a cushion and adds flexibility to the spine. Together the vertebrae and the discs protect the nerves in your spinal cord. Each disc has a soft, jellylike nucleus within the rubbery exterior. Disc prolapse, also known as a herniated disc or a slipped disk, occurs when some of the nuclei leak through a rupture in the exterior tissue and irritates the spinal nerve or spinal canal. It can be an acute condition — occurring suddenly and without warning — or a chronic one that develops over time.

What causes disc prolapse?

Disc prolapse is usually a chronic disease caused by gradual wear and tear of the area, known as disc degeneration. The chances of a disc prolapse increase with age and even based on weight, as these factors can increase the stress placed on the discs. Once disc degeneration is in play, all it takes is a strenuous activity, prolonged stress, or hard impact for the disc to prolapse. Examples of this include:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Sitting for long periods
  • A fall or blow to the back
  • Repetitive accumulated minor injuries
  • Twisting or sitting in awkward positions

Symptoms of disc prolapse

So how can you tell if you have a prolapsed disk? The symptoms depend on the nerve that’s been impacted by the leaking nucleus, but here are some of the most common ones.

  • Sharp, burning pain in the buttocks, thighs, calf, or foot (indicative of a prolapsed disc in the lower back)
  • Sharp burning pain in the shoulder or arm, which shoots up the arm with sudden movements such as coughing (indicative of a prolapsed disk in the neck)
  • Radiating numbness and tingling sensations in the affected areas of the body
  • Muscle weakness in the arms and legs
  • Issues with balance

If you’re experiencing neck or back pain that travels down your back, accompanied by numbness and tingling, you should seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible.

Disc Prolapse Treatment

Once you’ve been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc, there are several treatment options available to you. However, the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore will provide you the following combination:

  • Medication — a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medication that may include anti-inflammatory medications, pain-killers, and muscle relaxants. If the symptoms persist, some cases may require cortisone injections around the spine
  • Physical therapy — will help you minimize the pain of the prolapsed disk with specially designed exercises and activities. This may involve spending time in a rehabilitation clinic, but several exercises can be done from the comfort of your home as well
  • Lifestyle changes — a doctor may suggest certain changes to the way you do daily activities to reduce stress on the affected area. This can help reduce symptoms in a matter of days or weeks

In some extreme cases, surgery may be required to correct the issue, but it’s rarely necessary. For most patients, medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes are enough to relieve the pain.

The human back is one of the most delicate parts of our body and houses some of our most important nerves. Even the smallest disruption to the area can cause serious issues. Luckily, disc prolapse is one issue that can be easily treated. Once patients learn to mitigate the pain, they can continue with their lives, but with a little bit more care than before. If you or a loved one is living with disc prolapse, look for the best rehabilitation in Bangalore, and start your journey towards a pain-free life.

10 Knee and Shoulder Sports Injuries That You Can Prevent

Do you remember Mohammed Shami’s sports injury in the 2015 World Cup? Well, it made headlines at the time. 

The Indian fast bowler had played his matches with a fractured knee — an injury that had caused him discomfort during the tournament. Even after the World Cup, it kept him out of the game for almost nine months as he underwent surgery and rehabilitation. 

But despite the name, sports injuries are not limited to athletes. For every cricketer who sprains their shoulder or footballer who dislocates their knee joint, there is a non-athlete who does the same during their morning run or evening workout. If you are living in the Garden City and suffer from a sports injury, head on to the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore for promising results with Stem Cell Therapy.

What are Sports Injuries?

The term sports injury — in the broadest sense — refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or any physical exercise. They usually involve the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage. There are two kinds of sports injuries:  

  • Acute Injuries: An injury that occurs suddenly, such as a sprained ankle due to an awkward landing. Some of the symptoms are sudden, severe pain, swelling, sensitivity in the affected area, and an inability to move. 
  • Chronic Injuries: They develop slowly and are characterized by swelling, pain while performing an activity, and a dull ache when at rest. They are caused by repeated overuse of muscle groups or joints. 

What are the common types of sports injuries?

In the world of athletic endeavors, there are many common sports injuries such as sprains, strains, swollen muscles, fractures, dislocations, rotator cuff injuries, and others. 

Here we have compiled a list of common sports injuries related to your knees and shoulders that you can avoid the next time you are playing a sport:

  • Knee Fractures

Fractures can happen to any of the bones in or around the knee due to high impact trauma. However, the most commonly broken bone in the joint is the patella or kneecap that protects it from injuries or further damage. When you directly fall onto your knees or collide with a person, your kneecap cracks due to the force, which makes the kneecap susceptible to fractures. 

  • Knee Dislocations

When the bones of the knee are out of their proper placement and alignment, the knee becomes dislocated. It can occur due to structural abnormalities or traumas such as a fall, collision, or even contact sports, and can include damage to the blood vessels and nerves about the knee.

  • Meniscal Tears 

The menisci are two rubbery wedges of cartilage that act as shock absorbers and smooth cushions for the thigh bone. Any damage to the inside of the knee can result in a torn meniscus. It is common in sporting activities that involve jumping or twisting, such as volleyball or soccer. 

  • Knee Sprains

Knee sprains are extremely common in sports. They occur when the knee is overextended or moved unnaturally, the ligaments that hold the knee together are unable to support the movement. There are varying degrees to them, depending on their severity.

  • Tendon Tears

Often referred to as a jumper’s knee (since it is common among athletes who are involved in running or jumping sports), it is an injury to the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Landing awkwardly after coming down from a jump or a severe fall can cause a stretched tendon due to the direct force to the knee.

  • Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. It provides individuals with the ability to lift their arms and reach overhead. A repetitive stress injury or overzealous, overpowered arm swings may tear or rip any of these tendons.

  • Shoulder Instability

When muscles and ligaments that hold the shoulder together stretch beyond their normal limits, they become unstable. Such an injury can cause pain that comes on either quickly or gradually, and most commonly occurs in contact sports in which athletes repeatedly fall on their shoulders.

  • Shoulder Impingement

Often referred to as the swimmer’s shoulder or thrower’s shoulder, it is caused by excessive rubbing of the shoulder muscles against the top part of the shoulder blade. It commonly occurs in sporting activities such as throwing, racket sports, or swimming.

  • Shoulder Bursitis

Inside each of your shoulders is a tiny, fluid-filled sac known as a bursa that helps reduce friction between the bones in your joints. When the bursa in your shoulder becomes inflamed or swollen, it leads to a condition known as shoulder bursitis. 

  • Dislocated Shoulder

The shoulder is relatively easy to dislocate because it can move in so many directions and is looser than most other joints. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) pops out of the shoulder joint.

Wrapping Up!
Sports injuries can take a long time to heal or never fully heal at all. Hence, undergoing Stem Cell Therapy at the best rehabilitation center in Bangalore is important. It can provide you an alternative to conventional medicine with visible results.