Top Ways to Prevent Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are relatively common, with tens of thousands of people suffering from SCIs yearly. The good news is that many of these injuries can be prevented with proper precautions and lifestyle choices.
Wear Protective Gear
Whether playing sports, riding a motorcycle or bike, or participating in any other activity that poses a risk of injury, always wear the appropriate protective gear. This might include a helmet, shoulder pads, knee pads, etc. They can help absorb the impact of a fall or collision, reducing the risk of an SCI.
Practice Safe Driving
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of SCIs. Therefore, it is critical to practice safe driving habits, such as wearing a seatbelt at all times, avoiding distractions like texting or using your phone while driving, and following traffic laws and speed limits.
Be Mindful of Falls
Falls are another leading cause of SCIs, especially in older adults. To prevent these accidents, keep your home free of clutter and tripping hazards, install handrails on staircases and bathrooms, use non-slip mats in the shower or bathtub, wear proper footwear, improve lighting, especially in hallways, staircases, and bathrooms, and have your vision checked regularly.
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of an SCI and improve overall spinal health in the following ways:
- Improves posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine, including the back, core, and neck muscles.
- Regular stretching can help improve flexibility so muscles and joints do not put as much pressure on the spine.
- Strong muscles can help protect the spine from injury.
- Regular exercise can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can damage the spine and increase the risk of injury.
- Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, alleviating any additional strain on the spine.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Drug Use
Alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment and coordination, increasing your risk of accidents and fall that can lead to SCIs. Excessive use of alcohol and certain drugs can also damage your spinal cord and other organs over time. In addition, people are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as driving under the influence.
Seek Medical Attention for Any Back Injuries
Seeking medical attention right away after a suspected spinal cord injury is crucial in preventing further damage and potentially reducing the severity of the injury. Medical professionals are trained to stabilize the spine and stop movement, such as through the use of neck braces or backboards. Treatment options may include surgery, medication, or rehabilitation and may be most effective when started as soon as possible after the injury.
Avoiding spinal cord injuries involves a combination of common-sense precautions and healthy lifestyle choices. However, they are not always preventable. If you or a loved one has suffered an SCI as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Arrange a free consultation and speak to a trusted Atlanta Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer as soon as possible.