How a Spinal Cord Injury Can Affect Body Functions


Whether your spinal cord injury was caused by accident or due to repetitive or heavy-duty tasks, finding a spine care specialist can help restore the quality of your life. You do not want to spend the rest of your life walking with a hunched back or persevering with pain and suffering, hoping that it will get better. It does not. The worst part about not seeing a specialist such as Ammar Saymeh, DPM from NJ Spine and Wellness in good time is that your issue may go from bad to worse. Read on to find out how spinal cord injuries can affect the functions of your body.

Spinal cord reflexes

In typical circumstances, the brain communicates with the rest of your body through the spinal cord. Your spine triggers all the movements you make, such as lifting, walking, talking, and even chewing. So when it gets damaged, the message from the brain will not get through to the rest of your body. While the spinal nerves may receive the signals, they might not channel the message to the brain.

Spinal shock

Your spinal cord has reflexes that initiate movement. When it is under shock, its reflexes can get compromised. Finally, when the shock ends, the part of the spinal cord that was affected may start stiffening. 


Did you know that a spinal cord injury can affect the muscles necessary for breathing? Of course, the body relies on diaphragm, intercostals, and abdominal muscles to facilitate a smooth breathing process. When this happens, your doctor may require you to cough to clear your lungs of secretions and bacteria. But if you have a spinal cord injury, you are likely to get a weak cough which can lead to other life-threatening infections, such as pneumonia.

Uneven temperature regulation

When you have a spinal cord injury, you are unable to sweat or have “goose bumps” like you used to. The fact that your body is unable to regulate its temperature may cause it to experience uneven temperature regulation. For example, you may feel extremely cold and cover yourself in heavy clothing. The next minute, your body feels hot, so you need to cool it off.

Loss of bowel control

Since the spinal cord controls a significant portion of your body’s movements, you may have a hard time controlling your bowel when you have a spinal cord injury. This condition ranges from frequent constipation to diarrhea. A spine specialist may recommend a bowel training therapy that includes diet, medications, and other lifestyle changes. In some cases, they may recommend a digital stimulation to trigger the inner part of your rectum to help the bowels move.

See a Spine Specialist for Assistance

As you can see, your spinal cord’s responsibility is to assist the other parts of your body in carrying out their functions effectively, but it can only do that when it is well. Whether you have a spinal cord injury or not, seeing a spine specialist is the only way through which you can resolve your fears. For more information on spine-related conditions and how a doctor can help you, book your appointment online today.

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