Most people don’t associate falls with spinal cord injuries. However, falls are the second most common cause of these injuries. (Vehicle crashes are the most common.)
According to research published in 2016, same-level falls (such as slipping or tripping and falling on the floor or ground) are the most common fall-related cause of spinal cord injuries, at 20%. People in their 60s and older are the most likely age group to suffer same-level falls.
Along with older people, those with medical issues are also at high risk. As the medical director of the spinal cord injury program at Northwestern Medicine (NM) says, “Anyone with impaired movement, balance or reflexes might not be able to catch themselves with their arms, elbows or knees, meaning the first thing to hit the ground could be someone’s head, causing a concussion and potentially a spinal cord injury.”
An early start on rehabilitation is key
Depending on the type of spinal cord injury suffered, people can potentially recover. The earlier they get into an in-patient rehabilitation program, the better their chance of long-term recovery is.
According to the NM doctor, the spine is crucial not just to the movement of voluntary muscles, but to breathing and other bodily functions. Therefore, it’s crucial for rehabilitative professionals to start working with patients as soon as possible after their injury.
What does the future hold for spinal cord injury rehabilitation?
Advancements in rehabilitative technology that can help even people with severe spinal cord injuries – such as robotic exoskeletons – continue. It’s impossible to know with certainty what advancements a spinal cord injury victim can benefit from in the years ahead.
That’s why it’s crucial that if your or a loved one’s spinal cord injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or actions, you work to seek the compensation that will be needed for medical care, rehabilitation and other expenses and financial obligations over the long term. With experienced legal guidance, you can help ensure that you don’t settle for less than you are entitled to receive.