Spinal cord injuries can occur suddenly and leave those who experience them either partially or completely paralyzed. Such injuries affect people of almost every age group.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes that motor vehicle accidents and serious falls account for the largest percentage of spinal injuries in the country. When these incidents occur, those affected may want to remain aware of the symptoms that may present after an accident.
1. Swelling and bleeding inside the spinal cord
After an accident that affects the spinal cord, victims may not experience instant paralysis but instead lose sensation and movement over time as undiagnosed spinal trauma causes swelling and bleeding within the spinal cord itself. This can cause eventual loss of movement in the extremities.
2. Numbness in the hands or feet
After a spinal cord injury, those affected may experience numbness and tingling in the hands or feet. This may begin in the fingers and toes and spread as the undiagnosed spinal injury continues to cause swelling.
3. Issues with walking and balance
A spinal cord injury can affect the body’s balance and cause vertigo and other types of dizziness that affect movement. It may cause victims to feel off balance or cause them to list to one side while walking. This could increase the risk of secondary injuries from a fall caused by unsteady balance.
Other symptoms may include sudden or worsening headaches and bladder and bowel control problems. The type of symptoms experienced may depend on the severity of the spinal cord injury itself.