Following this advice may reduce your risk of a spinal cord injury:
Oct. 08, 2014
Drive safely. Car crashes are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car.
Make sure that your children wear a seat belt or use an age- and weight-appropriate child safety seat. To protect them from air bag injuries, children under age 12 should always ride in the back seat.
- Check water depth before diving. To make sure you don't dive into shallow water, don't dive into a pool unless it's 9 feet (about 3 meters) or deeper, don't dive into an aboveground pool and don't dive into any water of which you don't know the depth.
- Prevent falls. Use a step stool with a grab bar to reach objects in high places. Add handrails along stairways. Put nonslip mats on tile floors and in the tub or shower. For young children, use safety gates to block stairs and consider installing window guards.
- Take precautions when playing sports. Always wear recommended safety gear. Avoid leading with your head in sports. For example, don't slide headfirst in baseball, and don't tackle using the top of your helmet in football. Use a spotter for new moves in gymnastics.
- Don't drink and drive. Don't drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Don't ride with a driver who's been drinking.
- Adams JG. Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Hansebout RR, et al. Acute traumatic spinal cord injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Spinal trauma. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/spinal_trauma/spinal_trauma.html. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Spinal cord injury facts. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Fact%20Sheets.aspx. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Spinal cord injury facts and figures at a glance. National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Spinal cord injury prevention tips. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/~/media/Files/Patient%20Information/Patient%20Safety%20Tips/spinal_cord_injury_prevention.ashx. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Vodusek DB. Lower urinary tract and sexual dysfunction in neurological patients. European Neurology. 2014;72:109.
- Spinal cord injury: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sci/detail_sci.htm. Accessed July 9, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.