If you have been in an accident, whether a car accident or something like a slip-and-fall, you may not know right away you have an injury. What you think could be just general soreness or whiplash could be something much more serious, like a spinal cord injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, auto and motorcycle accidents cause nearly half of new spinal cord injuries each year with falls making up another 31%.

These types of injures involve harm to any portion of the spinal cord or the nerves that are at the end spinal canal. The severity of a potential spinal cord injury may be unknown until later, as symptoms could be mistaken for something more minor. Common signs of these injuries include loss of movement, trouble breathing and altered or loss of sensation like feeling hot and cold.

You may have more severe symptoms, including:

  • Tremendous back pain or pressure in your back, head or neck
  • Trouble balancing or walking
  • Neck or back is weirdly twisted or positioned
  • Loss of sensation or tingling in your extremities

How spinal cord injuries can impact your life

Whatever the accident was that caused your injury, it is important for a doctor to examine you to determine the extent of any potential injuries. Often, they use tests like X-rays, MRIs and CT scans to know the severity of the damage.

When not diagnosed quickly, a spinal cord injury can cause severe, long-lasting impacts, maybe even paralysis. While rehabilitation and treatment focus on preventing the injury from becoming worse, there is no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord once it has occurred.

You can experience both physical and mental impacts as you and your loved ones learn to adjust to this new way of life.

If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, having detailed information from a doctor about the extent of your injury can help your lawyer fight for a fair settlement.