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Spinal cord injuries can be life altering. Damage to your spinal cord can physically affect your ability to feel or control some parts of your body. It can also affect you mentally, emotionally and socially.

Motor vehicle accidents and falls are two of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States. However, other common causes include acts of violence, recreation accidents, alcohol use and diseases.

Emergency signs of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Extreme pain or pressure in your head, neck or back
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Changes in sensation in your hands or feet, such as numbness or tingling
  • Weakness, incoordination or paralysis
  • Impaired breathing

Treatment for spinal cord injuries

Although in some cases, symptoms may be immediately obvious, other times symptoms may appear later as bleeding or swelling occurs. If you develop any symptoms of a spinal cord injury it is important to seek medical help right away because the time between the injury and treatment can impact the severity of the injury.

Immediate medical treatment typically includes immobilizing the spine, preventing shock and preventing possible complications. Surgery may be necessary to stabilize the spine or remove anything that may be compressing the spine.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinal cord damage, but new treatments are always being developed. The rehabilitation process focuses on strengthening existing muscles and developing adaptive skills. There are also several technologies available to help you regain much of your independence.

If you have experienced a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, it may be appropriate to seek justice. Through litigation, you may be able to receive compensation for expenses related to your injury and your recovery process.