Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries Essay examples

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Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be very devastating. First we will discuss the spinal cord's structure and function. Then we will tell you how the spinal cord is most commonly injured, along with some statistics involved and some signs of spinal cord injury. We will explain some changes to the body after spinal injuries. Finally we will talk about some of the research in helping spinal cord injury victims. The spinal cord is the final common pathway from the brain to the muscles. It controls all the sensory inputs received from different locations throughout the body. The spinal cord also controls voluntary muscle responses. Some elementary reflexes are local to the spinal cord, but voluntary muscle
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Nerves from each segment of the spinal cord connect to specific regions of the body. The cervical region or neck are referred to as C1 through C8; they control signals to the neck, arms, and hands. The segments in thoracic or upper back region T1 through T12 relay signals to the torso and some parts of the arms. The segments in the upper lumbar or mid-back region just below the ribs, L1 through L5, control signals to the hips and legs. Last, the sacral segments S1 through S5 lie just below the lumbar segments in the mid-back and control signals to the groin, toes, and some parts of the legs. The effects of spinal cord injury at different segments reflect this organization.(SC-Basic Anatomy of Spine-http://www.goes.com/billr/html/_anatomy_of_a_spinal_cord.html) Injuries to the spinal cord may be caused indirectly, as by a blow to the head or a fall; by traffic accidents, sports injuries, or violence. The consequences depend on the amount of damage the cord sustains and where the damage occurs. Although spinal injuries are only a small fraction of all injuries; accidents cause an estimated 10,000 spinal cord injuries each year. Each year, more than two million Americans suffer a
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