Join us to commemorate Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day. The spinal cord is formed by nerves that carry messages from your brain to the rest of your body. When the spinal cord is damaged, the communication between our brain and the rest of your body is disrupted, resulting in a loss of movement and sensation from below the level of injury. Damage to the spinal cord can be caused by a trauma like an accident, an injury or as a result of infection or disease. Taking care of your spine is very important, and not only during your weekly yoga practice. Every day you can follow some simple steps to protect your spine from wrong posture and future injuries. Stretching and keeping the right posture during office hours can help you to avoid future issues.
A number of Orphan diseases are linked to spinal injuries, for example Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a progressive disease of the nervous system, where nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement gradually deteriorate, causing loss of muscle function and paralysis. The exact causes are unknown but are believed to include genetic and environmental factors. The symptoms of ALS vary depending on which muscles weaken first, and include loss of balance, loss of control of hand and arm movement, and difficulty speaking, swallowing and breathing. ALS usually starts in mid-life and is a long-term debilitating and life-threatening disease because of the gradual loss of function and its paralyzing effect on muscles used for breathing which usually leads to death due to respiratory failure.
Major damage to your spinal cord in your back might result in paraplegia. Paraplegia affects the movement and sensation in your legs and possibly some stomach muscles. Damage to the spinal cord in your neck will result in tetraplegia. Tetraplegia affects movement and sensation in all four limbs, as well as stomach and some chest muscles. If you are suffering from severe spinal cord injury see below the link to patients organizations. It is important to also be ready to be a helping hand for those affected by spine cord injury: be helpful and friendly!
To give you an idea of the number of patients affected by this issue, in the UK more than 50.000 people suffered from spinal cord injuries.
References and patients organizations: