What are the symptoms of spine injury after an accident?

A spine injury can change the course of someone's life in an instant, leaving the sufferer disabled and unable to carry out his or her normal work and daily life activities. The injury will also have numerous psychological and emotional side effects as the victim struggles to overcome the challenges presented by pain, disability and other social repercussions of the injury.

Many of the side effects and symptoms of spine injury are quite unexpected for the victims. Pain will usually be felt at the point of the injury on the back or the neck. This area might also be tender to the touch -- especially when bone fractures happen. Sharp pains could also shoot through the legs and arms.

In some cases, the loss of feeling and muscle control is only temporary, but other times it can be permanent. It all depends on how severe the injury was. If nerve pathways are severed and destroyed because of the injury the loss may be more likely to be permanent. Injury site swelling could also make the injury worse than it actually is and as swelling subsides, there could be improvements in the patient's condition.

Loss of muscle tone is another concern. When muscles are paralyzed, they go limp and lose their tone. Involuntary and prolonged muscles spasms could develop as a result of paralyzed muscles. This condition is known as spastic paralysis, where there are unusually strong muscle reflexes that take over. Because movement becomes limited with paralysis victims, they have a higher risk of contracting a pressure sore or blood clots. Pneumonia and urinary tract infections are also a possibility.

Victims of spinal cord injuries in British Columbia may want to consider investigating the circumstances of their accidents to see if the facts support personal injury claims for damages against the party responsible for the injuries. If such a personal injury claim is successfully navigated, it could help victims pay for medical care, in-home services, rehabilitation services, lost income and other costs associated with their injuries.

Source: Merck Manuals, "Injuries of the Spinal Cord and Vertebrae," James E. Wilberger, MD, and Derrick A. Dupre, MD, accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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