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US Senate: September 2014 is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

The United States Senate has marked this month National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. The designation is designed to encourage public awareness and research into paralysis and spinal cord injuries.

Spinal cord injuries affect over 1.2 million people in the United States. Over 70% of those injuries affect children under 18 as a result of car crashes. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of these serious and debilitating injuries.

Resolution 533 labeled September 2014 as “National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month.” The resolution emphasized:

“[T]he urgent need to develop new neuroprotection, pharmacological, and regeneration treatments to reduce, prevent, and reverse paralysis. . . [to improve] outcomes for victims of spinal cord injuries, improv[e] the quality of life of victims, and ultimately cur[e] paralysis.”

The Senate announced its support of “research to find better treatments, more effective therapies, and a cure for paralysis” including new clinical trials.

Spinal cord injuries, including some traumatic brain injuries, can often cause permanent changes in strength, sensation, and bodily functions, including paralysis. Just like with TBI, the symptoms of spinal cord injuries can come on gradually as bleeding or swelling happens in and around the spinal cord. After a car accident or other jolt to the spine, be sure to watch for:

  • Back pain or pressure;
  • Neck pain or pressure;
  • Weakness or lack of coordination;
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers, hands, toes, or feet;
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control;
  • Loss of balance or difficulty walking;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Changes in posture.

It’s important injury victims to see a doctor right away. In fact, spinal cord injuries are so serious that often emergency responders will assume an accident victim has been injured until proven otherwise. That is because moving an injured person can cause serious complications.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to undo spinal cord injury. But there are extensive treatments and therapies that can increase mobility and promote nerve cell regeneration. Some immediate treatments can decrease swelling and reduce damage to the nerve cells.

Victims of spinal cord injuries face extensive ongoing care needs. There are special prosthetic and mobility devices that can help victims compensate for their injuries, but recovering patients can expect long periods of rehabilitation with a team of therapists to relearn important skills and manage their disability.

To pay for treatment, it is important for motor vehicle accident victims to file a claim with their No-Fault Insurance provider. But because of the ongoing nature of treatment, many insurers will try to cut off coverage. That’s why victims need strong advocates like the spinal cord injury experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. David Christensen and his team will fight the insurance company to get you the coverage you need to deal with your ongoing medical expenses and rehabilitation needs. Contact Christensen Law for a free consultation today.