What are the Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is a complex and vital part of the nervous system, responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, it can have serious and long-lasting effects on a person’s ability to move and function. Spinal cord injuries can occur due to accidents, falls, sports injuries, and other traumatic events.

It is crucial to recognise the signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury, as prompt medical attention can often make a significant difference in the outcome. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of spinal cord injury:

Loss of movement or sensation

One of the most obvious signs of a spinal cord injury is a loss of movement or sensation in the affected area. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, a person may experience complete or partial paralysis of the arms, legs, or other body parts. They may also experience a loss of sensation or feeling in the affected area.

Difficulty breathing or coughing

The muscles responsible for breathing and coughing are controlled by nerves that originate in the spinal cord. If these nerves are damaged, a person may experience difficulty breathing or coughing. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Pain or pressure in the neck, back, or head

Spinal cord injuries can cause pain or pressure in the neck, back, or head. This can range from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating pain. It is essential to seek medical attention if you experience any persistent pain or pressure in these areas.

Loss of bladder or bowel control

The nerves that control the bladder and bowel are located in the lower part of the spinal cord. If these nerves are damaged, a person may experience a loss of bladder or bowel control. This can cause incontinence and other related issues.

Spasms or reflexes

Spinal cord injuries can cause spasms or exaggerated reflexes in the affected area. These involuntary movements can be painful and can interfere with a person’s ability to move or function normally.

Changes in sexual function

The nerves that control sexual function are also located in the lower part of the spinal cord. If these nerves are damaged, a person may experience changes in sexual function, including erectile dysfunction, loss of sensation, or difficulty achieving orgasm.

Help from Aspire Law

Spinal cord injuries can have serious and long-lasting effects on a person’s ability to move and function. It is essential to recognise the signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury and seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. Early treatment can often make a significant difference in the outcome and quality of life of someone with a spinal cord injury. Get in touch with us today to learn more.