SPINAL CORD INJURY is defined as damage to the spinal cord that results in partial or complete loss of function, whether temporary or permanent. In the United States, approximately 10,000 new spinal cord injury cases arise every year, bringing the prevalence to anywhere between 180,000 and 230,000 injuries. The three most common causes of spinal cord injury are direct trauma, compression by disk herniation, and damage caused by occluded spinal arteries. Although the range of symptoms that result from a spinal cord injury is largely determined by the size and location of the lesion, most patients will at least experience chronic pain accompanied by lifelong heart and lung complications. Current therapies focus on physical rehabilitation and counseling to deal with the emotional frustration of disability, ...

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