Free «The Spinal Cord» Essay Sample


The spinal cord is a thin tissue which is long and it extends from the brain to other part of the body. The central nervous system is made up of the spinal cord and the brain. The spinal cord extends and covers the first and second space of lumbar vertebrae. T he spinal cord for women is approximated 43 cm and that of man is around 45 cm long. The spinal cords primarily function in neural signals transmission between brain and the whole body which contain neural circuits.


The spinal cord injury is an injury which is caused in the spinal cord which may cause myelopathy or destroy nerve roots or damage militated fiber tracts which transmits signals to and from the brain.


Shingles is a skin rash disease which results from a virus which cause chicken box. This virus is known as Vercelli zoster virus which exists in viruses’ herpes family. The virus lives dormant in the nervous system after a person has suffered from chicken box and it does not fully disappear from the body.  When a person is suffering from Aids, stress or cancer the virus causes shingles through reactivation but this reactivation is never found in the body. A person ever suffered from chicken box is at risk of suffering from shingles (Plum 2001). In most case shingles attack people with more than 60 ages but it is estimated that around 1000000 people in United States of America suffer from shingles yearly.


The patient experiences burning pain and skin sensitivity for several days or a week before a rash develops and becomes visible. Sometimes it becomes difficult to know the cause of severe pain when a rash has not developed. Shingles rash develops on a red base as small blisters but eventually they continue to form new blisters for about three to five weeks. In the spinal cord, the blisters follow the root of individual nerves in a dermatomes pattern and form a band like pattern in the skin area. Some areas in nerve distribution may have blisters while other areas may not have blisters. Only one nerve will be affected but in rear circumstances more than one nerve may develop blisters. At long last the blisters become visible and the affected area starts to ooze. The affected area will heal for sometime after crust and it will take around four to three weeks. Occasionally one experiences pain without blisters being present (Plum 2001).

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There is no clear medicine for shingles but the length of illness and complication prevention is shortened through treatment.  Antiviral medicines are given to reduce pain and shingles duration. Antidepressants and topical creams are given to relieve long term pain on patients. An individual will start using antiviral medicines as soon as possible once being diagnosed with shingles. Early medicines especially within two days when shingles symptoms have developed are given to reduce chances of post herpetic neuralgia. This will reduce serious problems which are resistant to treatment. Some shingles diseases especially post herpetic neuralgia does not respond to treatments.

 Common shingles treatments including antiviral medicines especially valacyclovir, acyclovir and famciclovir which reduce pain are used for treatment. Acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen are over the counter pain medicines given to patients during attack of shingles. Gabapentin, pregabalin and opioids are shingles medicine given as ongoing treatment. Topical creams such as capsaicin may reduce pain though may irritate or burn the skin unless used with caution. Shingle treatment depends on nature, location and specific complications.

Spinal Fracture

It is a fracture that affects the spinal column bones, cervical vertebrae or other column parts.                                                            


The spinal fracture symptoms vary from one type to another and symptoms depends on nerve problems on the spinal fracture. They do not involve pain so it is advisable to undergo medical examination when a traumatic event has occurred especially road accident. Sudden and severe pain sometimes occur around the area of injury and swelling may occur around an injury area (Huy 2008).Neurological symptoms may occur in case the pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord results from the Spinal fracture. These symptoms include; arms or legs weakening, numbness of arms or legs, difficult in walking, paralysis, radiculopathy that is travelling of pain downs the legs or arms and problems of bladder.  Loss of height and spine hump may result in case one has multiple compression fractures associated with osteoporosis.


Treatment depends on the type of spine fracture especially in the case of vertebral compression fractures. Non-surgical including pain medications are given to patients suffering from vertebral compression fractures. Calcium, external bracing, short rest and supplementation of vitamin D are important. Conservative treatments are administered to reduce pain of the spinal fracture. Surgery is done when pain of a vertebral compression fracture persists and this helps in fracture repairing. Fusion surgery is important especially when the patient lose vertebral height. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are the major treatment methods used for spine fractures that result from osteoporosis. Neurologic problems associated with unstable spine leaving the fractures require surgical interventions (Boos 2008). These include stabilizations and vertebral column alignments. Improvement of neurologic status and return of patient to a functional status is an important treatment.


The spinal code injuries attack the spinal code and cause nervous problem in the brain and other parts of the body. However if a patient seeks medication early from health professionals, he/she will reduce chances of severe and prolonged sickness. Early medication can reduce chances of Spine fractures and shingles from spreading faster and reduce the costs of spending on medicine. Medicines are given especially pain killers to relieve severe pain and patience is left to rest for short period of time.


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