After a spinal cord injury, quick medical treatment is incredibly important. That means that you need to identify the injury and take the proper steps to get to a medical center, and doing so means you must know what signs and symptoms to watch out for. It is not always as obvious as people assume, and delaying treatment could be very detrimental to your long-term health.
With that in mind, here are some potential signs of a spinal cord injury:
- A reduction in movement, especially in the arms and legs, depending on the location of the injury
- A complete loss of movement in those areas
- A reduction in your senses, such as the ability to touch a surface and feel cold, heat, etc.
- Trouble breathing; this can be an emergency symptom when bad enough
- Alterations to your sexual sensitivity or function
- A reduction in bladder control or a complete loss
- Nerve damage that leads to a stinging sensation
- Reflexes that do not work as intended, either not working at all or becoming exaggerated
In many cases, you’ll feel severe pain at the point where the break happened. You then will not be able to move below that point. Sometimes, this just lasts for a minute or two and then movement returns. Other times, it lasts for life. It can be very hard to know just how extensive the damage is in the moment, so medical care is a must.
If you do end up with a serious injury that will not heal, becoming a disability, it’s important to understand what rights you have to Social Security Disability benefits.