Long-term effects of a spinal cord injury

Back and spine injuries can be devastating. Whether you suffer an injury on the job, in a car wreck or by the actions of a negligent property owner, it may help you to know the various ways in which a spinal cord injury (SCI) can affect your life in the long-term.

You may find that the impairments to your life are beyond significant. Such impairments include:

  • Cardiovascular problems: It is not uncommon for problems like orthostatic hypotension, cardiac atrophy and other heart and blood-related complications to arise in SCI victims.
  • Chronic pain: Chronic pain like what you may experience from an SCI can seriously affect your overall quality of life. The majority of SCI victims suffer from some form of chronic pain.
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction: Functionality on the bladder and bowl level is dictated by the central nervous system. SCIs can disrupt the nerves on which the bladder and bowel rely to function correctly. Dysfunction in the urinary or bowel systems may require regular therapy.
  • Respiratory issues: SCIs can affect your respiratory muscles and cause ineffective coughs, chest and lung wall compliance issues and create a higher demand of oxygen needs in breathing.

Additionally, these impairments have the potential to cause psychological stress and issues with general social well-being. Other potential effects of an SCI include:

  • Sexual functionality, fertility and sensitivity
  • General loss of sensation or change in sensation
  • Problems with everyday movement and coordination

It is vital that you see a doctor after a serious accident, even if you are only experiencing minor effects from an SCI; some issues may take time to develop.