New Research Gives Hope to Bay Area Paraplegics

Spinal cord injuries are often devastating, especially where such injury results in paralysis. If injured in an accident, the spinal cord is rarely able to rebuild itself. In severe cases, an individual may suffer paraplegia or quadriplegia for the rest of their life.

There are over 12,000 people hospitalized for spinal cord injuries every year in the United States. It is estimated that at least 270,000 live with spinal cord injuries in the country. The initial injury is often worsened by pain and pressure sores. Chronic pain and medical conditions can have a major impact on a person's quality of life.

New research has been released showing how science is creating innovative treatments for spinal cord injuries. The new studies demonstrate possible therapies for managing pain and pressure sores. The studies also give hope to repairing nervous system damage and speeding recovery time.

The researchers are finding ways to intervene on a biological level to minimize nerve and tissue damage as injuries evolve over time. Some of the innovations include undergarments with electrical currents stimulating paralyzed muscles and discovering how carbon monoxide's anti-inflammatory effects appear to accelerate healing in lab tests. Social contact also has been shown to lessen pain associated with peripheral nerve injury.

The new studies are giving hope to victims of spinal cord injuries across the country. However, there is often a long-road to recovery for paraplegics, quadriplegics and others suffering from permanent disability. In the short-term, victims of spinal cord injuries that were caused at no fault of their own should know they may be entitled to file a claim against the responsible parties.

Source: Medical Xpress, "New findings could help speed recovery, alleviate pain associated with spinal cord injury," Oct. 15, 2012

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