Injuries To The Spinal Cord – Types, Diagnosis, And Treatment

spinal cord injuries

The central nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord itself. Therefore, the spinal cord is one of the most essential body parts of our system. If there is an injury, it can result in drastic problems in our body. To safeguard the spinal cord of the central nervous system, our backbone protects it. 

Even so, the injuries are sometimes not preventable. If you have had a recent spinal cord injury, you must immediately visit a physiatrist in Kolkata Dr. Ikram Malik for diagnosis and treatment. Here is everything you need to know!

Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are several types of spinal cord injuries based on the part of the spinal cord it is located in. They are as follows:

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries

This is the most severe type of spinal cord injury where the cervical portion of the spinal cord is affected. The head and neck regions are affected. It can cause severe paralysis and other neurological disorders if the severity of the injury increases.  

  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries

Injuries in the thoracic spinal cord may result in issues with the upper chest, abdominal region, and mid-back muscles. However, arms and hand muscles are not much affected. If the severity of the injury increases, paralysis may occur. 

  • Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries

When there is an injury in the lumbar spinal cord region, the hips and the legs muscles are affected. This may result in the need for a wheelchair for movement. If the legs are affected, one may need braces for walking. 

  • Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries

Injuries in the sacral spinal cord also affect the back, hips, buttocks, thighs, and other pelvic organs. Patients may be able to walk but with some level of difficulty. 


Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a number of factors. They are as follows:

  • Damaged nerve fibers – The spinal cord is made of several neurons and nerve fibers. Therefore, damage to any of these can cause a spinal cord injury. 
  • Accidents – Falling off a motorcycle or a bicycle can also cause severe spinal cord injuries. The severity depends on the impact of the fall from the vehicle. 
  • Falling – Falling off a staircase, especially when you are 60 years or older, can cause a spinal cord injury. 
  • Sports and vigorous exercise – Heavy exercise routines can also affect your spinal cord drastically. Playing sports can also make you prone to spinal injuries. 
  • Violent acts – Indulging in violence can also result in severe spinal cord injuries. The shocks of a violent act like punching or kicking can result in such injuries. 
  • Diseases – Some diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, and spinal cord inflammation can also result in mild to severe spinal cord injuries. 


Based on the symptoms, spinal cord injuries are of two types:


When all feelings of motor control and other muscle movements are lost, the injury is known to be a complete spinal cord injury. Complete spinal injuries lead to paralysis, loss of muscle movements, and locomotion. Two types of paralysis – Tetraplegia, and paraplegia – may occur. Tetraplegia is when paralysis occurs everywhere in your body whereas paraplegia is paralysis of only parts of your body.  


This type of spinal injury occurs when you do not lose the complete sensation of muscles or motor neurons. The severity may depend on the type of spinal cord injury mentioned above. In incomplete spinal cord injuries, one can still have limited muscle movements. You can book an online doctor consultation to discuss your symptoms with a physiatrist.


Some common symptoms of spinal cord injuries are as follows:

  • Loss of movement and sensation.
  • Severe back pain, weakness, and coordination problems. 
  • Feeling a sensation of numbness in your arms and legs. 
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control. 
  • Losing the ability to feel touch, heat, or cold sensations. 
  • Muscle pain and fatigue. 
  • Pain during coughing or sneezing. 


As soon as you face any of the above-mentioned symptoms, an immediate diagnosis can help cure such symptoms. For that, you need to visit a physiatrist in Kolkata or near you immediately. Once you have consulted a doctor, they may conduct some tests to locate the injury precisely. The tests may be one of the following:

  • X-rays – a complete x-ray scan can help your doctor or physiatrist locate the point and reason for the spinal cord injury. 
  • CT scan – If the injuries or abnormalities are not clear in an x-ray image, they can be detected in a CT scan. 
  • MRI scan – If there are some clots or masses due to which there are symptoms of spinal cord injuries, then an MRI scan can be the most useful as it uses radio waves and magnetic fields to generate computer images. 

After these initial tests, your physiatrist in Kolkata or near you will examine the images and give you a proper diagnosis. After that, they will also brief you on the correct treatment options available. 


The treatment options depend on the severity of the injury, the cause, and other factors. Once your physiatrist locates the exact problem, they can help you decide on the treatment options. Some of them are as follows:

  • Medications – For injuries that are mild, they can be easily treated with medications. However, there are some side effects involved as well. 
  • Immobilization – Another method to heal a spinal cord injury naturally is to use soft neck collars and braces to stabilize the neck movement. 
  • Surgery – For severe injuries where the broken shafts of bone have penetrated the spinal cord, surgery might be needed for the removal of such broken bones. 

Spinal cord injuries should not be taken lightly as they can cause grave danger to life. If you are going through any of the symptoms mentioned above, go for an immediate online doctor consultation. You can also visit a physiatrist in Kolkata or near you for proper diagnosis and treatment of such injuries. 

By Arslan Shah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!