Spinal Cord Injury: Symptoms and Causes

What is a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries occur when any part of your spine or nerves at the end of the spinal canal become damaged.  These injuries are serious and can greatly impact your quality of life.  Spinal cord injuries can result in varying degrees of paralysis, or inability to move your upper and/or lower extremities.  Therefore, the impact of the injury on your ability to move will depend on the location and severity of the damage to the spine.  

The severity of the injury is referred to as “completeness” and will be identified as either complete or incomplete.  For instance, when all feeling below the injury location is lost, it is classified as complete.  If there is still some amount of feeling below the injury location, then the injury is incomplete.  

What are the signs or symptoms of a spinal cord injury?

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility
  • Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs 

(Mayo, 2022)

After an accident where a spinal cord injury may have occurred, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following emergency symptoms:

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head or back
  • Weakness, incoordination or paralysis in any part of your body
  • Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty with balance and walking
  • Impaired breathing after injury
  • An oddly positioned or twisted neck or back

(Mayo, 2022)

What are common causes of spinal cord injuries?

(John Hopkins, 2022)

Legal Assistance for Spinal Cord Injuries

If you believe that you or a loved one may have suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal cord injury, it is important to seek immediate medical care.  After seeking medical care, contact us at 214-575-6060 for a free consultation to explore your legal options.