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Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury after a car crash

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A spinal cord injury can result in long-term consequences to a person’s quality of life. Because motor vehicle collisions can exert a high degree of force, they sometimes cause damage to the brain and spinal cord.

Individuals should understand the ramifications of an accident that jars a person’s back or neck area.

A list of common signs and symptoms

Information from the Mayo Clinic states that a spinal cord injury after an accident does not always appear obvious. Numbness or paralysis can happen days or even weeks after an accident. A few subtle signs of a spinal cord injury may include the following:

  • Unusual reflex actions or spasms
  • Loss or altered sensation
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing

Any significant trauma to the head or neck requires treatment from a medical professional. More serious symptoms involve the total loss of bladder or bowel control and paralysis. Without treatment, spinal cord damage often worsens due to bleeding, swelling and fluid accumulation near the injury site.

The possibility of permanent damage

A spinal cord injury often results in permanent damage. Even high-quality medical treatment remains ineffective for many patients suffering from damage to the brain or spinal cord. This permanent damage inevitably leads to impacts on a person’s social, emotional and financial situation.

Motor vehicle accidents account for nearly half of all spinal cord injuries each year. Individuals can increase their safety on the road by wearing safety belts and avoiding dangerous driving behaviors. Airbag trauma can impact small children, so they should ride in the backseat of the vehicle.