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What you should know about spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries can often cause serious physical damage that may require long-term rehabilitation and medical treatment. The following provides information regarding spinal cord injuries, some of the symptoms, and how they most often occur. If you were recently in an accident, please take note.

What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?

Any damage to the ligaments, disks or vertebrae of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself is considered a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries are normally categorized into two general types: traumatic and non-traumatic.

A traumatic spinal cord injury occurs when a traumatic, sudden blow crushes, fractures or dislocates the vertebrae. An automobile accident would be considered a traumatic injury. Additional damage due to swelling, bleeding or fluid accumulation could occur over the course of several days or weeks after a traumatic injury has taken place. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury could be the result of inflammation after an accident.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries?

After an injury has occurred, a person may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty staying balanced or walking properly.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Weakness, numbness or loss of complete sensation in the extremities.
  • Pain or pressure in the neck, head or back.

It is important to remember not to move a person who may have suffered a spinal cord injury. Emergency medical assistance should be called immediately.

How Do These Injuries Occur?

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, motorcycle and auto accidents account for over 35 percent of all new spinal cord injuries every year. Moreover, over 25 percent of these types of injuries occur when those over the age of 65 suffer from a fall.

If you were recently in an accident that resulted in serious back injuries, be sure to get help from an experienced medical professional. It is important to expedite your road to recovery.

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