Joanne Smith and Kylie JamesPressure sores are more than just a pain in the ass — or any other boney prominence. These severe skin breakdowns can significantly hinder our quality of life and in some cases be life-threatening.

After a spinal cord injury our skin is much more susceptible to damage and breakdown due to loss of sensation, decreased muscle mass, altered blood circulation and chronic pressure exerted over areas such as our buttocks, elbows and heels.

It is estimated that 10-30 percent of us will develop a pressure sore within our first year of injury, and that 50-80 percent of us will develop one at some point in our life. This high prevalence of pressure sores accounts for a large number of spinal cord injury re-hospitalizations, and research indicates that our risk of developing them increases with time since injury.

Given these facts, what’s the best way to treat a pressure sore? Do everything in your power to prevent them from developing in the first place. So, in addition to using proper seating devices and practicing pressure relief techniques, one of the best ways you can maintain your skin integrity is to ensure you’re getting the essential nutrients needed to support healthy, strong skin.

It is also important to eliminate refined and processed foods, as these can cause tissue inflammation, which inhibits the body’s ability to heal tissue. The fo