Spinal cord injuries can have a permanent impact on a person’s ability to function. In addition to physical symptoms, people can experience negative mental, emotional and social effects of their injury.
There are several common causes of spinal cord injuries. Motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, are the cause of almost half of all spinal cord injuries each year.
Also, these injuries can happen when a person falls or is a victim of an act of violence. They can also occur during athletic and recreation activities, especially impact sports and diving in shallow water.
Symptoms and long-term effects
A spinal cord injury may be complete or incomplete. If it is complete, the victim loses all feeling and ability to control their movements. If it is incomplete, the victim may have some feeling or function below the affected area.
Symptoms may include loss of sensation, a stinging feeling caused by damage to the nerves in the spinal cord, difficulty breathing and spasms. The victim may also have difficulty balancing or walking, have numbness and tingling in his or her fingers, feet or toes, back pain and neck pain or pressure.
If a person has a spinal cord injury, it may not be immediately apparent. It’s important for him or her to have a medical evaluation as soon as possible, because the time between the injury and the treatment can be a major factor in determining the extent of the injury and how long it might take the person to heal.
An experienced attorney can pursue compensation on the injured person’s behalf.