What is spinal cord?
Spinal cord connects our brain with the body. It forms an important link between brain and the body and body to the brain. There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves. There are 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and one coccygeal nerve. The spinal cord is made up of white and grey matter. Spinal cord is divided in to four regions: Cervical, Thoracic, lumbar and sacral. There are motor and sensory spinal nerves that carry message from brain to spinal cord and vice versa. It is the main part of the body that processes the information. Spinal cord performs many important functions. There is a clear fluid that fills the spinal cord cavity and is known as cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid acts as a protective cushion and prevents spinal cord from any injury. There are many nerve fibres that transmit messages from the different parts of the body, to and from the brain. Vertebrae are the small bones that form the spinal cord and if there is an injury to the higher vertebrae, it can produce more dysfunction in the body.
Symptoms of spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury can produce different symptoms. Injury at different sections of the spinal cord can produce distinct symptoms. The level of injury has to be determined through an X-ray. Different symptoms that may occur with spinal cord injury includes the following:
- If there is an injury to the first four cervical nerves, there is paralysis of arms, hands, and legs, there is inability to control bowel and bladder movements, requires complete assistance for daily living activities.
- Injury to the nerves from C5-C8 can move his upper limbs but paralysis of wrists and hands may occur. There is weak breathing and will need assistance for daily living activities.
- Injury to the thoracic nerves from T1-T5 can affects the muscles of the upper chest, mid back and muscles of the abdomen. Arms and hands function normally but trunk and legs may be affected.
- Injury to the thoracic nerves from T6-T12 can result in paraplegia, muscles of abdomen and back are affected, no control of bowel and bladder movements.
- Injury to the lumbar nerves can result in dysfunctioning in the hips and legs. There is no control over bladder and bowel movements.
- Injury to the sacral nerves results in some loss of functioning in the hips and legs. There is little of no control over bladder and bowel.
Spinal cord injury exercises
Yoga is an important way for spinal cord repair. Yoga helps people to feel more comfortable. Yoga helps in reducing the pain and increasing the flexibility of the parts. Yoga is a great therapeutic plan that provides physical as well as mental relaxation. Yoga helps people with spinal cord injury to move out of their wheel chair and to interact socially with the people having similar difficulties. This helps in raising their confidence. DVD yoga for spinal cord in English and Hindi consists of home remedies, different spinal cord injury exercises and other useful tips for people suffering from spinal cord injuries. Yoga helps in spinal cord repair without producing any side effects. It is an alternative way of reducing the symptoms and pain of the people who suffer from spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injury exercises given in this DVD are explained clearly for the better understanding of the people. It is available in Hindi as well as in English so that people from different parts of the world may practice spinal cord injury exercises at their home. The exercises given in this DVD are very beneficial and helps in increasing the strength of the muscles. Yoga exercises given in this DVD also helps in reducing the pain and enhances the activity level of the patient. It is best for the people who cannot go for special yoga classes. They can buy this DVD and do the yoga exercises under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.
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Yoga poses for spinal cord injury repair
There are many yoga poses that can be done by the people suffering from back pain due to some spinal cord injury. Yoga poses help to repair the damaged tissue and give relief from pain and discomfort. Some useful poses are:
Corpse pose: Corpse pose or Savasana is a wonderful pose that strengthens the spinal nerves and back muscles. Lie down on your back on a hard surface and relax your body. It is usually done at the end of the yoga practice and relaxes the whole body.
Fish pose: Fish pose is useful because it reduces stiffness in the shoulders and neck and also increases the flexibility of the spine. Lie down on your back and keep your arms on your side. Lift your back with legs and buttocks but keep your head to the ground. The chest should be raised in the upward direction.
Cat pose: It relaxes the shoulders and the upper back. People who live a sedentary lifestyle should perform this pose to get relief. Get down on your hands and knees. The fingers should be wide spread and should face forward. Keep your arms at shoulder width distance and knees at hip-width distance. Inhale and exhale, raise your back and drop down your head.
There are many other yoga poses that can help to get relief from spinal pain and injuries. It is recommended that all yoga poses should be done under the supervision of an expert guidance. Do not over strain your muscles. You can start with some easy poses and then enhance the intensity slowly. Yoga will positively give you good result if you perform it under the guidance of an expert. Yoga not only strengthens your body muscles but also makes your mind healthy and keep you out of stress. Yoga helps to relieve the tension in the lower back and increases the flexibility of the spine. It also helps in increasing the circulation of the blood to all the parts of the body.