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Spinal cord injuries can lead to spasticity

There is a variety of different ways that a person can suffer a spinal cord injury. Car accidents, semi-truck accidents and slip-and-fall accidents are a few of those ways. For a person who suffers a spinal cord injury, the cause of the accident is usually only a factor if he or she plans on seeking compensation. That is because once a spinal cord injury occurs, dealing with the effects of the injury is what becomes the focus of life. One issue that plagues some people with spinal cord injuries is spasticity.

Spasticity can occur after a spinal cord injury if an area of the spinal cord that controls voluntary movements. Normally, spasticity doesn't occur right after the spinal cord injury. Instead, it occurs when the spinal shock abates after a few weeks or possibly months.

When the messages of the nerves are interrupted, the messages may not make it to the proper area of the brain. The spinal cord then tries to take control of the body's movements. This can lead to uncontrollable movements and stiffness. The stiffness can range from very severe down to mild.

In the case of spinal cord injuries, people who have incomplete injuries and cervical spine injuries have a higher chance of suffering from spasticity. In most cases, spasticity is treated with medications that are injected directly into the affected area of the spinal cord via a refillable pump that is implanted in the body. Physical therapy, nerve blocks and surgery may also be used to treat spasticity.

As you can imagine, treatments for spasticity can be expensive. When a spinal cord injury is caused by an accident that was due to someone else's negligence, seeking compensation might help to pay for the treatments that are necessary.

Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, "Spasticity," accessed July 02, 2015

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