Serious car crashes or workplace accidents sometimes leave people in Michigan with back injuries. Damage to the spinal cord usually produces lifelong disability. Although medical science cannot cure spinal cord injuries, modern advances have improved life expectancy and quality of life for survivors. The severity of spinal cord damage influences long-term survival, but rehabilitation at facilities specializing in spinal cord injury also promotes longer lives.
Of the three major portions of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar), the lumbar is the lowest. Since it carries the greatest weight, its vertebrae are the largest in the spine. The vertebrae and nerves are designated, from top to bottom, as L-1 to L-5. Lumbar spinal cord injuries will vary in severity based on which nerve is damaged, so Michigan residents will want to be knowledgeable about the differences.
There may be some signs of hope for Michigan residents with spinal cord problems. Scientists from Boston Children's Hospital are working on a way to help paralyzed patients regain the ability to walk. Their research study examines ways to revitalize undamaged nerve pathways in the spinal cord.