Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that 12,000
people suffer a spinal cord injury each year. Approximately 8 percent
are suffered during a recreational activity. Spinal cord injuries occur
at our nation's beaches every year, usually as the result of diving
headfirst into the water or being tumbled in the waves by the tremendous
force of the ocean. These injuries can result in complete or partial paralysis
or even death.
Types of Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
The head is forced back further than it can extend, fracturing the bones
in the back of the neck and tearing the supporting ligaments in the front.
The head is pushed forward until the chin is forced against the chest,
fracturing the bones at the front of the neck and stretching or tearing
the supporting ligaments. These injuries can also damage the spinal cord.
The head and body rotate in opposite directions severely twisting the ligaments,
bones and spinal cord to the point where they may rupture, fracture or sever.
The head is forced down onto the shoulders with great pressure, compressing
the spinal cord and possibly fracturing bones in the neck.