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Spinal injury symptoms to watch for after a car accident

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of back and spine injuries. While many car accident injuries are minor and heal with minimal complications, some are more serious, requiring extensive treatment or even lifelong care.

Immediately after a car accident, the extent of your injuries might not be apparent. It is important to receive immediate medical attention and know the symptoms of a serious injury.

Loss of sensation and movement in extremities

Numbness or paralysis is a common sign of a serious spinal cord injury. You may experience tingling, loss of sensation or insensitivity to heat and cold in the affected extremities. You might also experience weakness or loss of coordination. These symptoms may appear gradually after the accident.

Loss of muscle control

Spinal injuries can cause muscle spasms and an inability to control movements. This can also affect the pelvic floor muscles, resulting in a loss of bladder or bowel control.

Respiratory symptoms

Motor vehicle accidents can cause internal organ damage, such as a punctured or collapsed lung. However, difficult or painful breathing after an accident may also be a sign of a spinal cord injury.

Sharp pain

Some aches and pains are normal after an accident, but severe, sharp pain might indicate a serious back or spinal injury. Intense pain may be due to a torn muscle or ligament or nerve damage.

Seeking medical care after a car accident is essential, even if your injuries seem minor. Getting prompt treatment and knowing the symptoms to look out for can improve your chances of recovery.