Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are varied.The effects and intensity of the injury can be organised as:
Complete injury: Complete loss of function below the neurological level, where the patient loses motor and sensory function.
Incomplete injury: Some of the sensory and motor functions are retained below the level of injury. The lowest spinal cord level is S4-5, representing the anal sphincter and peri-anal sensation. So, if a person is able to contract the anal sphincter voluntarily or is able to feel peri-anal pinprick or touch, the injury is said to be “incomplete”.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury
Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury may be observed instantly or be delayed, as the swelling and bleeding spreads around the region. A spinal cord injury is associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Radiating pain, numbness or a burning sensation in the limbs and neck
- Inhibition of motor function and inability to walk
- Inability to feel temperature or pressure changes
- Muscle spasms and deterioration
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty in breathing
- Paraplegia in advanced stages
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury also vary with the region they effect. The main regions where a person may suffer spinal cord injury are: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The fourth section of the spine (sacral), does not contain spinal cord tissue. Consequent damage to the sacral vertebrae or nerves will not damage the cord at that level.
- Cervical (C1-C8) - When damage occurs to the spinal cord in the cervical spine, the consequence is most severe and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of cervical spinal cord damage may affect the limbs, mid-body, and even breathing. The higher the region of cervical spine damage, the more severe the injury. Both sides of the body experience the symptoms.
- Thoracic (T1-T12) – When damage occurs to the spinal cord in the thoracic spine region, the legs are affected. The higher up the thoracic spinal cord damage, the higher the effect on blood pressure.
- Lumbar (L1-L5) - When damage occurs to the spinal cord in the lumbar spine, one or both of the legs are affected. Patients with lumbar spinal cord damage experience trouble controlling their bladder and/or bowel function.
Siddha Healing for Spinal Cord Injury
According to Siddha medicine, spinal disorders and Sciatica related problems are categorized under Vatha diseases.
The following types of Vatha diseases are important and must be considered:
- Asuva thamba vatham
- Thandaga vatham.
The treatment includes pranic energy healing to restore the balance and flow of energy through the body. At Chakrasiddh, Marma therapy is used to stimulate the vital points improve muscle flexibility, restore blood flow and remove toxins. Patients are also encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle with the right diet.