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What are some early signs of a spinal cord injury?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Spinal Cord Injuries |

In the blink of an eye, a sudden accident or injury at work can change your life. One such life-altering event is a spinal cord injury.

The spinal cord plays a big role in transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Recognizing the early signs of this injury is important.

Changes in sensation and numbness

One of the early indicators of a spinal cord injury is a noticeable change in sensation. If you experience sudden numbness or a tingling sensation, it could be a sign of potential spinal cord damage. This feeling might extend beyond a specific body part, affecting a larger area.

Muscle weakness or paralysis

Loss of muscle strength or paralysis in any area can also signal a spinal cord injury. Weakness or paralysis often occurs on one side of your body and may vary in severity. Difficulty in moving limbs, maintaining balance or performing daily activities could be indicative of spinal cord trauma.

Difficulty breathing and coughing

A spinal cord injury may impact respiratory function. Difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath or inability to cough effectively may arise as early signs.

Altered bowel and bladder function

Spinal cord trauma can disrupt the communication between the brain and the bowel or bladder, leading to changes in control and function. Incontinence, difficulty urinating or irregular bowel movements may happen. These changes can be early indicators of spinal cord damage.

Intense pain or pressure

Experiencing sudden, intense pain or pressure in the back, neck or head after an injury is a red flag for a potential spinal cord injury. This discomfort could come from damage to the spinal cord or surrounding areas.

With 30% of spinal cord injuries in America coming from falls, a common slip-and-fall incident at work is one source of this problem. Recognizing changes can serve as cues for seeking medical assistance. In the face of a potential spinal cord injury, swift action can make a significant difference in the journey to recovery.