Spinal cord injuries can leave behind permanent damage. When the spinal cord is injured, it can cause issues ranging from changes in strength and sensation to paralysis. These injuries can result from car accidents, slips, trips and falls, sporting accidents and more. Understanding the signs and symptoms can help you spot potential injuries and get medical attention.
Symptoms of spinal cord injuries
Typically, the most severe spinal cord injuries result in paralysis, including loss of sensation below the injury site. Some spinal cord injuries, referred to as “incomplete,” allow some motor and sensory function below the injury location.
Common symptoms include:
- Loss of movement or sensation, such as the ability to feel temperature or touch
- Spasms or exaggerated reflexes
- Pain or intense stinging sensations
- Changes in sexual function and fertility
However, spinal cord injuries aren’t always obvious. If you notice these emergency symptoms, seek medical help right away:
- Paralysis, weakness or loss of coordination
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Issues with balance and walking
- Trouble breathing and coughing
- Twisted neck or back
It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible—otherwise, the injuries may worsen. Timing can be critical to mitigate damage and treat the injury. You should also note that paralysis might be immediate, or it may come on gradually.
What to do if you suspect a spinal cord injury
If you or someone you know suffers a back or neck injury, do not move them. Instead, keep them still and call 911. Use heavy towels on both sides of the neck to keep it in place, or hold their head and neck in your hands until help arrives. You may also need to perform other basic first aid, such as making them comfortable and stopping any bleeding.
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, help is available. Contact an experienced Sarasota, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.