How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?

Spinal cord injuries are often some of the most devastating a person can suffer. The majority of your nervous system is located in your spine, and severe damage can leave you paralyzed for life — or worse. There are many ways you could fall victim to such an injury. Here are the top 6, according to Mayo Clinic:

  1. Car accidents: Over 35 percent of all new spinal cord injuries annually happen due to motor vehicle accidents. This includes cars, trucks and motorcycles. Whether you hit another vehicle or a stationary object, you could suffer from a spinal cord injury.
  2. Falls: If you are over 65 years old, a spinal cord injury is more likely to happen from a fall than any other cause. It also affects industrial and construction workers. In all, a quarter of spinal cord injuries come from falling.
  3. Violence: Unfortunately, violence is a common occurrence in the United States. Gunshot and stab wounds account for 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries. Often, violent acts sever nerves, causing severe damage.
  4. Sports injuries: Whether you play for the pros or play in the backyard, you can suffer from sports injuries playing sports.Similarly, taking dives in the shallow end of the pool can cause injury. Altogether, sports and recreation account for about 9 percent of spinal cord injuries.
  5. Alcohol use: Do you make the smartest decisions when you drink? Whether you text your ex or try death-defying maneuvers, the answer is probably “no.” Unfortunately, alcohol plays a factor in a fourth of all spinal cord injuries.
  6. Disease: Not every spinal cord injury is a result of trauma. Osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer and other diseases and conditions can cause your spinal cord to deteriorate. This is one of the main causes of injury in older individuals.