The 5 Most Common Causes Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 18, 2018

Spinal Cord Injury Causes

Spinal cord injuries occur in a myriad of different ways, but some types of injuries are more common during certain activities. It should come as no surprise that car accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries, as they account for more than 40 percent of spinal cord injuries each year, but what other activities put your spine at risk? Today, we take a closer look at five of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.


Whether you’re roofing your house, hanging Christmas lights or simply walking down the stairs with your hands full, all it takes is a momentary loss of balance to send you tumbling to the ground. Falls are the second most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the US, accounting for more than 25 percent of all spinal cord injuries, and that number gets even higher when looking at people over the age of 65.

Physical Violence

Violent acts are another unfortunate cause of spinal cord injuries. Estimates suggests that roughly 15 percent of annual spinal cord injuries can be attributed to violence from gunshots, knife wounds, or injuries suffered in fist fights.

Sports and Exercise

Millions of people participate in sports and recreational exercise activities every day, and the vast majority of them only end up with sore muscles or a bruise to show for it. However, some athletes in high-impact sports like football, hockey, wrestling and skiing aren’t so lucky. About eight percent of spinal cord injuries each year can be attributed to sports activities.

Alcohol-Involved Accidents

Alcohol is present in the bloodstream of a number of people who suffer spinal cord injuries each year. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions or slow your reaction time, both of which can contribute to spinal cord injuries. About 25 percent of spinal cord injuries involve alcohol, although they might fall into another official injury classification, like car accidents, falls or physical violence.

Infections and Diseases

Infections, diseases and other health conditions like cancer or osteoporosis can damage the spine. Weakening of the spinal canal can make a person more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury in the future, or the need to undergo surgery in which the spinal cord is affected.

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