It is very common to be involved in a car accident and not realize that your spine has been damaged as a result. That happens every day. Too many people who are unaware of the risks of spinal injury leave the scene of the accident and never seek medical attention. They assume they have escaped unscathed.
Then, days or weeks later, they feel the impact.
Symptoms of Spinal Injury
Spinal injury can be insidious. However, there are specific symptoms to look out for such as headache, stiff or painful neck, arm or leg numbness or loss of movement, loss of bowel or bladder control, or unconsciousness. Spinal injury may affect many parts of your body because the spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the rest of your body – in essence, spinal injury can have adverse effects on you from your head to your toes.
Types of Spinal Injuries
Every day, there are millions of Americans on the road driving their way to work, school, or other destinations. It stands to reason, then, that motor vehicle accidents are responsible for approximately 40% of various spinal injuries. Common spinal injuries include whiplash (neck strain or sprain), pinched nerves (cervical radiculopathy), or herniated discs. While many of these injuries are not life threatening, they certainly can change your life permanently.
The reason we can move our bones throughout the spine is due to sponge-like discs that protect them. During an injury, those discs may tear, and the protective sponge-like substance squeezes out into the spinal canal. This may result in pain from compression on one or more of the nerves. Thus, disc herniation.
Cervical radiculopathy happens when the nerve is aggravated by a fragment of the ruptured disc. Of course, these conditions are generally not fatal, but they can cause numbness, weakness and severe pain.
Physical therapy and even surgery can correct many of these injuries. But, in some cases, treatment cannot bring you back to where you were before your accident. That means your life will change. You may not be able to run as fast or at all. You may not be able to lift as much weight as you used to. You may even have to live in some kind of chronic pain.
Spinal Cord Injuries
That is why it is crucial to always seek medical treatment after a car accident. Along with physical challenges, you may face financial challenges. So you deserve to know what lies ahead and whether you are entitled to some kind of financial compensation.
If you have long-term or permanent damage from a car accident, it is wise to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney will evaluate your case, and fight for any
compensation you deserve.