As part of the central nervous system, the spinal cord plays a critical role in virtually every bodily function. It contains 31 pairs of nerves, all of which are protected by the bones that make up the spinal canal.
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are characterized by damage to one or more of these nerves. Depending on the location and severity of the damage, it may be enough to cause permanent paralysis. Although every SCI is unique and has the potential to cause different kinds of complications, immediate medical intervention can almost always ensure a more promising prognosis.
In other words, you should visit a doctor right away if you experience any of the following SCI symptoms following an accident:
- Loss of Sensation
If you damage your spinal cord, you may be unable to feel pressure, heat, or cold in certain limbs or in various areas of the body. Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, fingers, or toes is also common.
- Loss of Movement
A spinal cord injury can cause sudden or gradual paralysis. While some victims are unable to move one or more limbs immediately following the impact, others experience muscle weakness that slowly worsens over time.
Uncontrollable spasms or exaggerated reflexes could be indicative of damage to the spinal cord. Since shock and adrenaline can have similar effects on the body, these symptoms are often overlooked. If they persist for more than a couple of hours, it’s critical to seek medical care.
- Extreme Pain or Pressure
Instead of experiencing loss of sensation or movement, some SCI patients fall on the other end of the spectrum and suffer extreme pain or pressure in their upper body. If you sustain an SCI, you might experience this symptom in your head, neck, or back, and it’s unlikely to go away without medical intervention.
- Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control
An SCI at virtually any level of the neck or back can affect bladder or bowel control. This kind of symptom warrants emergency care and is typically accompanied by changes in sexual sensitivity or loss of sexual function altogether.
What Should I Do If I Experience Any of the Above Symptoms Following an Accident?
If you’re involved in an accident and there’s even a chance you sustained an SCI, visit a doctor immediately; don’t wait for your symptoms to progress. Since serious injuries are not always apparent right away, it’s wise to seek medical care following any kind of forceful impact. Once your condition has stabilized, you can then call a lawyer to devise a strategy for pursuing compensation from all liable parties.
Discuss Your Case with a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in New York City
If you sustained an SCI in an accident that another person caused, contact Charnas Law Firm. Attorney Scott Charnas has recovered numerous six- and seven-figure financial recoveries for clients throughout New York and Massachusetts. Call 212-980-6800 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in New York City