4 Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 23, 2018

Spinal Cord Injury Risk

Your spinal cord helps relay message to and from the brain, and it is a key part of your central nervous system. Your spinal muscles and vertebrae help to protect your spinal cord, but injuries can still happen. In fact, some individuals are at a greater risk for suffering spinal cord injuries than others. Below, we explore four factors that increase your likelihood of suffering a spinal cord injury.

 

Your Age

Spinal fractures from falls are more common as we get into our golden years, but spinal cord injuries are more common in our youth. Statistics suggest that individuals between the age of 16 and 30 are at the greatest risk for high-energy spinal cord injuries. You can help to prevent these injuries by wearing a helmet, buckling your seat belt and using proper form when playing sports.

Your Sex

The statistics show that about 80 percent of spinal cord injuries in the United States involve men. Researchers believe that this may be related to their increased involvement in contact sports or their propensity to participate high risk activities. Statistics show that males are also less likely to participate in injury mitigation measures, like wearing a seat belt or a bicycle helmet.

Risky Business

Along those same lines mentioned above, a propensity for participating in risky behaviors also significantly increases a person’s likelihood of suffering a significant spinal cord injury. Whether that’s in the form of reckless behavior (failing to wear a helmet, working from heights without a safety harness, diving into a shallow pool) or thrill-seeking actions (riding a motorcycle or playing certain sports), individuals who engage in high-speed or physical behaviors are more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury. Be sure to wear all the necessary safety gear and be smart about your actions.

Preexisting Health Conditions

Finally, individuals with certain preexisting health conditions are at a greater risk of suffering a spinal cord injury. For example, individuals with osteoporosis or shifted spinal discs may be more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury in the event of an accident. A minor fall can turn into a major spinal cord injury for patients with certain preexisting conditions. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to manage your condition so it doesn’t contribute to a severe spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injuries can strike anybody, regardless of whether you check all four of the boxes above or you’re a risk-averse middle-aged woman. Be smart about your actions, wear the right safety gear and be proactive about treating your preexisting conditions. For more tips on how to prevent spinal cord injuries, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today.

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