How Spinal Cord Injury Happens


There are different ways in which the spinal cord can get damaged – it can result from trauma or illness. Trauma can result from accidents. Stretching the neck backward or forward too far as the result of a fall can lead to the stretching of the spinal cord. Overstretching of the neck in any direction can also cause damage to the spinal cord. A traumatic injury can also come in the form of broken vertebrae pushing onto the spinal cord which pinches or bumps the cord. Other trauma that can occur is a bullet or knife wound to the spinal cord.


Following a spinal cord injury, a person’s motor, sensory and reflex messages are affected and might not be able to get past the damage in the spinal cord. Generally, the higher on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more dysfunction the victim will experience. Injuries can be complete or incomplete – this is based on whether any movement and sensation occurs at or below the level of injury.


It is important to know that each person’s recovery from spinal cord injury is different.


Here are some of the most common causes of traumatic injuries:

  • Falls

  • Motor vehicle accidents

  • Gymnastics

  • Football

  • Violence

  • Diving into shallow water


Spinal cord injuries are known to affect more men than women. The majority of people who sustain a spinal cord injury are said to be young adults between the ages of 16 and 30 – this is because they have riskier behaviours.


Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Some of the symptoms of spinal cord injury include:

  • Loss of control of the bladder or bowels

  • Problems in walking

  • Inability to move the arms or legs

  • Unconsciousness

  • Feelings of spreading numbness or tingling in the extremities

  • Headache

  • Signs of shock

  • Pain, stiffness, pressure in the back or neck area

  • Unnatural positioning of the head


Long-Term Outlook for Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Some people still lead full and productive lives following a spinal cord injury. However, there are still severe potential effects of a spinal cord injury. The vast majority of people need assistive devices such as wheelchairs or walkers to deal with loss of mobility. Some may even be paralyzed from the neck down.


Patients with spinal cord injury may also need assistance with daily living activities as well as learn to perform tasks differently. Urinary tract infections and pressure sores are some of the most common complications. Patients with spinal cord injury may also expect to undergo intense rehabilitation treatment.


If you or someone who is dear to you is suffering from spinal cord injury due to a personal injury incident, call us today at 1.855.905.9222 for professional legal assistance.