Spinal shock

Spinal shock:-The rehabilitation specialists guide the patient and family in this journey. After the trauma spinal cord ( CNS ) goes through different stages of healing and plasticity. The first stage is Spinal shock.  Here the system almost shuts its functions. This is due to the injury and trauma to tissues. In this stage motor and sensory functions apparently are not seen and muscles remain flaccid and loose. Depending on the level of injury there could be cardiovascular changes.

The stage of spinal shock may continue for a few weeks to months. The spinal shock stage leads to a stage of the reappearance of voluntary movements/bladder and bowel changes / sensory changes. Here the CNS begins to restore the functions. This stage can be disturbing to the patients as neuropathic pain ( Neuralgia ). And other discomforts begin.  Right diet and nutrients play a major role in helping the body to shorten the period of spinal shock.

As the spinal shocks end the second stage is Natural recovery. The cells and tissues which are not damaged begin to function. And the damaged tissues and nerve bring about abnormal and weird sensations and movements.  Neurological examination at this stage gives a more realistic idea about the recovery. The CNS / spinal cord need to enter a stage of Neuroplasticity. Though neuroplasticity is an innate nature of the CNS. It needs to be reactivated after trauma.

There are Various Approaches to the Reactivation of Neuroplasticity

  1. Reducing the period of spinal shock. Right medications and Nutrition plays a crucial role here. As the medication reduces inflammation, nutrients help the nerve cells to function better.
  2. Weight-bearing is crucial for CNS. This should be started as soon as the patent is medically stable.
  3. This not only activates the N.plasticity but stabilises the haemodynamics and maintains the integrity of the musculoskeletal system. 
  4. Right nutrition and diet. Various nutrients Like ALA, VitaminB12 and other B vitamins, Vitamin D, Magnesium, zinc, selenium and other phytonutrients antioxidants reduces tissue damage and helps the Nervous system to recover.

Human Spine is Made up of 5 Different Types of Vertebrae. Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacrum and Coccyx.

  • There are 7 pairs of cervical vertebrae.
  • 12 pairs of thoracic vertebrae.
  • 5 pairs of lumbar vertebrae.
  • 5 pairs of sacrum vertebrae.
  • 4 pairs of coccyx vertebrae.

Intervertebral discs hold vertebrae together and act as shock absorbers, allowing dynamic spinal movement. These discs measure around one centimetre in height and consist of a gooey centre (nucleus pulposus) surrounded by connective tissue (annulus fibrosis).

You may think of an Oreo with the disc as the filling and the vertebrae as the hard cookies. Usually, spinal problems are multifactorial. People who suffer from spine problems are mainly senior citizens, ladies after pregnancy, athletes or labourers.


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