Daily Archives: May 2, 2005
Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), also known as Hyperreflexia, is a potentially dangerous complication of spinal cord injury (SCI). In AD, an individual’s blood pressure may rise to dangerous levels and if not treated can lead to stroke and possibly death. Individuals with SCI at the T-6 level or above are at greater risk. AD usually occurs because of a noxious (irritating) stimulus below the level of the injury. Symptoms include headache, facial flush, perspiration, and a stuffy nose.
When someone sustains a spinal cord injury (SCI), one of the most difficult issues to deal with is that there is no “cure” at the present time. One would think that, with the “explosion in scientific knowledge” we hear about almost every day, SOMEONE would be doing SOMETHING to find a cure for people with SCI. If we can achieve the impossible in other areas, like transplanting entire organs and organ systems from one person to another and isolating human genes, why can’t we figure out why the spinal cord does not repair itself and then do something to correct this biological problem?
A Pressure Sore (or bed sore) is an injury to the skin and tissue under it. Sitting or lying in the same position will begin to cut off the flow of blood to that area, blocking oxygen and vital nutrients from maintaining healthy tissue. When the tissue becomes starved to too long a period of time it begin to die and an pressure sore starts to form.
Pressure sores will also be referred to as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. Damage from a pressure sore will range from slight discoloration of the skin (stage 1) to open sores that go all the way to the bone (severe).
A sixteen year old was the front seat passenger with her young, inexperienced boyfriend John at the wheel. They were on their way home from a friend’s party where John had had a few drinks. Just a few streets from home, he lost control of the car coming round a corner and skidded into a power pole. Alice’s head was whipped back and forth, damaging her spinal cord and leaving her a quadriplegic. She copes, but would give anything not to have accepted that lift.
Another Young Man was just twenty years old when he was driving to work one wet, winters day.
The body, under normal circumstances, is constantly moving. This movement, often times an unconscious act, will keep the joints loose and prevents pressure sores from occurring by evenly distributing the bodies weight. Individuals that have suffered a Spinal Cord Injury no-longer have the ability to move all the parts of their bodies. What most people take for granted and do, for the most part, unconsciously must now become a conscious effort that may require the assistance of a second person.
Each joint in your body is surrounded by ligaments, tendons, muscles and a joint capsule. If the joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are not exercised they will stiffen and will affect your body in many ways. The ability to sit, your posture, skin care in the groin area are just of few things that will be affected. Muscle spasms and pressure sores are perhaps the most important side affects of not maintaining a regular regime of exercises.
The skin on our bodies is made up of two layers. The top layer is called the epidermis and the under layer is called the dermis.
The epidermis is also made up of two layers. The outer, or surface, layer is made up of dead skin cells and the inner layer is made up of living skin cells. The surface layer is continually being shed and replaced with newer cells from the inner layer. Shedding takes place as we shower or clean ourselves and even rubs off from the friction of our clothes.
The dermis layer is more complex. Made up of a fibrous tissue it provides the strength and elasticity. In this layer you will find the hair follicles, sweat glands, oil glands, blood vessels, and nerve endings (pretty crowded place).
In most of the world, the ultimate determination of self-control is employment. This is the basis for almost all micro-lending activity worldwide. Self-employment carries with it connotations that have traditionally precluded people with a Disability. However, people with disabilities have been using self-employment as an effective route to a job for centuries. The difference in the 90’s is that the “system” is beginning to want a piece of the action. Social planners are beginning to see that economic empowerment for people with disabilities makes good business sense for society as well.
It is very important to be confident about the quality of care you or a loved one will receive when entering a Rehabilitation program. Very few people have prior experience with rehabilitation or the effects of a spinal cord injury (SCI), thus, assessing the quality of a rehabilitation program is difficult.
Although the final decision will ultimately depend upon individual circumstances such as insurance and location, all rehabilitation programs have features which can be evaluated, regardless of your prior knowledge of rehabilitation or SCI.
Every day more than 30 people become paralyzed from spinal cord injury (SCI) or disease. SCI generally results in one of two types of paralysis:
Paraplegia – paralysis affecting the legs and lower part of the body
Quadriplegia – paralysis affecting the level below the neck and chest area; involving both the arms and legs
1. What is Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling. Frequent causes of damage are trauma (car accident, gunshot, falls, etc.) or disease (polio, spina bifida, Friedreich’s Ataxia, etc.). The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for a loss of functioning to occur. In fact, in most people with SCI, the spinal cord is intact, but the damage to it results in loss of functioning. SCI is very different from back injuries such as ruptured disks, spinal stenosis or pinched nerves.