What are signs of a spinal cord injury?

After a severe car crash, you may start to feel aches and pains that signal something is severely wrong. 

Knowing the signs of a spinal cord injury can help prevent further health complications. 

Lack of sensation

According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents are a major cause of spinal cord problems. The time between an accident and when you receive treatment can be critical for your health and recovery, and symptoms may not always appear obvious at first after a crash. 

Numbness in your legs or arms could mean you experienced head or neck trauma. This trauma can lead to further complications, such as losing part of your skin sensation.  Note the temperature of any especially hot or cold items you touch in order to see if you lost the ability to feel heat. 

Feelings of pain and pressure

Feeling intense and reoccurring instances of pain in your back is one of the most common symptoms of this injury. Since your spine is central to most of your movements, standing or bending over can becoming increasingly difficult. 

If you continue to notice severe pain in your neck, back or legs, then you should seek immediate medical help. Headaches and bouts of stiffness may also occur some time after the accident, and muscle spasms can cause you to have trouble walking. 

Difficulty breathing

After an accident, your breathing may feel heavy or impaired. This difficulty to breathe is a sign of a spinal cord injury, which likely impacted your lungs. Tightness in your chest and the inability to walk long distances without feeling lightheaded are two signs of this problem. 

Spinal cord injuries can cause serious problems if left untreated or ignored altogether.