The spinal cord and brain together form the human body’s central nervous system. The brain uses the spinal cord as an avenue for sending commands all over the body. Therefore, any injury to your back (and thus, your spinal cord) has the potential to disrupt major functions in the body. Those disruptions can have devastating effects on one’s ability to live normally.

A serious back injury can alter your entire existence in an instant. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may become paralyzed, lose some of your senses, or become permanently weakened in parts of your body.

The key, then, is to do all you can throughout your life to avoid injuring your back. Fortunately, the great majority of serious back injuries are caused by incidents that are for the most part preventable. Driving irresponsibly, not taking safety precautions during contact sports, and diving into shallow pools are all examples of activities that can lead to serious back injuries and cause permanent catastrophic damage to the body.

Let’s get into more detail about how to avoid serious back injuries in Luzerne County. We will then discuss how Cawley Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation helps patients who depend on physical therapy to increase their strength and mobility following such an injury.

Maximize Road Safety

As we mentioned, driving irresponsibly sooner or later is sure to get you into trouble. But, of course, you can get into car crashes whether you are driving responsibly or not. The truth is that any type of car crash has the potential to cause a serious back injury and possibly damage nerves in your spinal cord.

Given that reality, there are always steps you can take to avoid sustaining a serious back injury while driving. For instance, you should minimize distractions on the road. Do not text, hold a phone to your ear, or allow passengers or pets to take your eyes off the road. Always wear your seatbelt, and do not drive a vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, including prescription medications with certain side effects.

Then there is the common-sense suggestion of obeying every traffic law every time you drive. Stay under speed limits and stop at all stop signs and red lights. By increasing your own safety on the road, you will increase the safety of others.

All of this goes a long way toward helping you avoid getting into an accident and taking a chance on injuring your back. The physical therapists at Cawley could certainly give you back exercises for a herniated disc or any injury you sustain in an accident, but you are much better off avoiding those situations in the first place.

Play Safely in Contact Sports

Athletes in any sport run the risk of seriously injuring their backs in freak accidents. More than any other sport, however, football should really be the focus of spinal cord safety tips. Americans of virtually all ages enjoy playing football, from children to professionals, and everyone could benefit from playing it more safely.

When playing football, be sure to wear all proper safety equipment, including helmets, pads, and guards. If you are going to play football, ensure you stay healthy and fit throughout the year. Warm-up before all practices and games, and be sure to stay hydrated during the game. Afterward, take time to cool down, and get a physical exam if anything feels off.

Accidents can happen in sports at any time, but as long as you observe proper fitness and play by the rules, you will be doing your part toward preventing serious back injuries to yourself and those around you. A sports injury could leave you searching around for the best exercises for lumbar disc herniation. And though help does exist for this area, you will appreciate coming out of a sports contest unscathed.

Take Measures to Avoid Falling

Our final tip for avoiding serious back injuries is to do what you can in your home and wherever you go to prevent yourself from falling. You might want to eliminate throw rugs in your home so you don’t trip over them, and make sure to tidy up your house every so often to keep hallways and main avenues clear of objects. If you don’t, you could quickly forget they are there, and a nighttime walk to the bathroom could end up with you on the floor with a back injury.

We mention the dangers of falling because, even though you may not think so, any fall has the potential to cause a back injury. You really can never be too careful with the health of your back and spinal cord, so take no chances.

We Treat Serious Back Injuries in Luzerne County

At Cawley Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, we know how to treat patients who come in with spinal cord injuries, slipped disks, and some of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. These people generally want to work on increasing their mobility or getting generally stronger. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries tend to be permanent, so our main job as physical therapists is to help these patients reintegrate themselves into normal living.

If someone has become partially paralyzed due to a serious back injury, it can be extremely difficult to start doing things for yourself again. When you come to see us, we develop a plan to get you moving as best you can. Regular stretching and physical activity can strengthen your muscles and help you to recover to a point that feels more normal to you.

If you have suffered from a serious back injury in Luzerne County, Cawley Physical Therapy wants to help you. Contact us today to schedule an initial appointment with us. Some degree of recovery may be possible for you, but you won’t know until you take that first step.