Spinal cord injuries can occur during different types of accidents, such as a motor vehicle crash or a serious fall. The Mayo Clinic notes that these events can cause a complete or partial loss of sensation below the site of the trauma.
If you or a loved one suffered possible spinal injuries in a recent accident, learning to identify the symptoms may help you understand the extent of the trauma and when to seek additional medical care after the accident.
Loss of sensitivity
Some spinal cord injuries are not immediately apparent and you may notice a loss of sensitivity around or below the damage over time. There are several ways this may occur, including:
- Inability to feel heat or cold
- Numbness to touch
- Reduced response to bladder or bowel urges
Depending on the injury, you or your loved one may experience this suddenly or over a period of days or weeks.
While some spinal cord injuries completely restrict movement, others may reduce it and cause weakness in the extremities. For example, you may find yourself unable to grip objects or experience a trembling sensation in your legs when you had no such issues before the accident. In-coordination may also accompany these sensations.
After a spinal cord injury, you may feel unable to balance yourself while walking, climbing steps or moving through doorways. This sudden lack of coordination may occur when nerves or discs in your spine become damaged during a car wreck or fall.
Not all spinal cord injuries are the same and some symptoms may not appear right away. Tracking your health after an accident can help prevent future issues.