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5 symptoms of a spinal cord injury after a crash

You were on the highway when it happened: A truck driver didn't see you in his blind spot and slammed into your vehicle. Your vehicle flipped over, and now you're unsure what to do. You're in pain, but help has been called for. Should you get out of the vehicle? Could you injure yourself more by moving?

There are many signs that you've suffered a spinal cord injury and should not be moved until emergency help arrives at the scene. While the most common thing people think of with spinal cord injuries is paralysis, spinal injuries don't always lead to paralysis or numbness.

There are two kinds of spinal cord injuries. The first, an incomplete injury, is one where you still have some sensation beyond the point of the injury. You may feel your feet, for example, but feel they are more difficult to move than before.

A complete injury is when you lose all feeling or almost all feeling and the ability to control your body parts below the point of injury. This injury is usually what people refer to as paralysis.

Some other signs that you've suffered a spinal cord injury include:

1. A loss of bowel or bladder control

If you lose control of your bowels or bladder, it could be a sign that you've suffered an injury to your spinal cord. The nerve impulses help control the muscles in that region of the body.

2. Exaggerated reflexes

When the nerves don't communicate correctly, your reflexes may be exaggerated. You could suffer from spasms or unusual muscle activity.

3. A loss of sensation

One of the easier ways to tell that you've suffered a spinal injury is if you can't feel part of your body. The injury is normally just above where the loss of sensation begins. For example, if you can't feel your legs, you probably have an injury around your lower spine.

4. Extreme pain or pressure

Even if you don't feel pain, extreme pressure on your spine is a sign that something could be wrong. In many cases, you'll know you have an injury because of pain, but pressure may be all you feel if the nerves are damaged.

5. Numbness or tingling in your extremities

Another sign of a spinal injury is if you have numbness or tingling in your arms, legs or other extremities. Weakness is also a sign that you have some nerve damage that needs medical care.

A spinal injury can impact you for life. It's important that the driver who caused your injuries is responsible for the care you need. You can file an insurance claim, and your attorney can help you get the settlement you need while you recover.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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