Spinal Cord Injury: Recognizing the Subtle Symptoms

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In West Virginia, most spinal cord injuries are the direct result of auto accidents, falls or violent crimes. These types of injuries are devastating to many victims, causing permanent paralysis either below the waist (paraplegia) or chest (quadriplegia) in vast majority of cases. Although you can recover damages for catastrophic spinal cord injuries caused by the negligence of someone else, lesser injuries may be harder to prove. This is why you need a West Virginia personal injury lawyer on your side.

Spinal cord injuries typically occur after a direct blow to your spine. The most obvious symptoms include immediate paralysis below the injury site, loss of movement and sensation, loss of bowel or bladder control and weakness or loss of muscle function altogether. According to the Mayo Clinic, though, symptoms of spinal cord injuries aren’t always as easily detected. Lesser, but still significant, symptoms of spinal cord injury include exaggerated reflexes or spasms, changes in sexual function or sensitivity, pain or stinging in your back, difficulty breathing or general numbness.

Getting an immediate medical examination is crucial if you think you’ve experienced a spinal cord injury. More than half of the 10,000 annual spinal cord injuries occur from car accidents, so it’s especially important to have your spinal cord and back examined after a crash. Keep in mind that a spinal cord injury doesn’t have to be as extreme as a tear or severing of the spinal cord. Injuries can also include spinal cord bruises (contusions that can cause internal bleeding), spinal cord concussions and spinal compression.