When people talk about spinal injuries, most think of complete spinal cord injuries. There is a wide range of potential injuries and symptoms that can result from an accident or even a botched surgery. Incomplete spinal cord injuries involve damage that has not completely severed the spinal cord.
Because the spinal cord was not completely broken or severed, there is potential for mobility below the injury site. Some people respond to surgeries and physical therapy. Others may struggle with partial paralysis, pain or other issues as the result of the injury. Each case is unique, and it can be difficult for those with partial spinal injuries to adequately explain how the injuries impact their daily lives.
Common symptoms of spinal injuries
Whether your spinal injury is complete or incomplete, there is a range of symptoms you could experience. Some of the most common ones include:
- decreased mobility below the injury site
- loss of physical sensation, including pain, touch, heat or cold
- issues with bowel or bladder control
- increased reflexes or muscular spasms
- changes in fertility and sexual function
- pain, often described as intense stinging, as a result of nerve damage
- problems with coughing or breathing
- weakness or numbness in affected extremities and limbs
- difficulty with walking
- inability to walk or retain balance
Some of these symptoms could decrease in time in the case of partial spinal injuries. A number of options, from surgery to electrical implants could help improve function and reduce pain. For some people with incomplete spinal injuries, however, recovery is slow or even impossible.
Spinal injuries can keep you from working
If you worked in a physical industry, such as construction or even driving professionally, you may not be able to return to work after an injury. In some cases, if symptoms improve with time or treatment, you may be able to resume your career. For others, however, work may prove impossible or far too painful.
Those with the most severe injuries, even incomplete injuries, may require daily assistance for mobility and self-care. Sometimes, that care comes from a family member, such as a child, parent, sibling or spouse. Other times, professional nursing care could be required.
Spinal injuries can be very expensive
The cost of ongoing care, as well as trauma care, physical therapy and surgery can quickly become astronomical. Combine that with a loss of your primary income, and it can be a terrible situation. For many people, Social Security Disability Income may be the only way to remain self-sufficient after a spinal injury.
Applying for Social Security Disability Income is complicated and difficult, especially if you have a condition with variable symptoms, like a partial spinal injury. Don’t let that deter you from applying, but be careful to document your injury, symptoms and needs to help improve the chances of your claim getting approved.