The Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause anything from discomforting pain to lifelong paraplegia and should never be taken lightly. The spinal cord can be damaged immediately during an accident; however, a spinal cord injury can also set in later, as blood buildup or swelling pinch and damage the vertebral column.
If you notice any of the symptoms of a spinal cord injury at any time after sustaining trauma, call 911 immediately.
These symptoms constitute a medical emergency; as the time between injury and treatment grows, so too does the likelihood of complications.
- Extreme back pain
- Pressure in your neck, head, or back
- Numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, or paralysis, especially in extremities
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Compromised balance and breathing
- A twisted or crooked neck/ back
Just like many other serious injuries, the causes of spinal cord traumas are varied and can affect individuals from all walks of life. Understanding some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries can help you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe.
Accidents account for almost half of all spinal cord injuries, which often occur alongside other wounds. Although not infallible, proper seat belt usage helps to minimize the likelihood of spinal cord injuries; however, the best treatment is prevention, so drive safely to try and avoid accidents altogether.
Note that whiplash doesn’t constitute a spinal cord injury. Although it involves stress or minor damage to nerves in the neck and spinal cord, whiplash, in a clinical setting, specifically refers to more minor traumas, and should not be confused for more severe, often persistent conditions.
Slips and Falls
Over 30 percent of all spinal cord injuries are fall-related, and individuals of any age are at risk. For seniors (60+ years old), simple falls are common causes of back injuries; younger individuals, conversely, most frequently hurt themselves during higher falls, especially in the workplace (during multi-level construction work, while climbing ladders, etc.). Be sure to watch your step and use handrails when available.
Acts of Violence
Unfortunately, not all spinal cord injuries are accidental in nature. The severity and permanence of spinal cord damage in an act of violence depend greatly on the weapon used and the malice of the attacker, but violence still accounts for over 10 percent of all spinal cord injuries (most commonly via gunshot, followed by knife wounds). Self-defense measures can minimize the wounds sustained in an attack, and cautious decisions or routing can help you avoid violence altogether.
Sports and other recreational activities account for just under 10 percent of all spinal cord injuries overall, yet are the second most prevalent cause of such injuries for individuals under 30. Full-contact sports and shallow-water diving are especially dangerous and should be handled with extreme care.
Serious Spinal Cord Injuries in Arizona
Alcohol usage, diseases, and other pre-existing medical conditions can cause spinal cord injuries in some cases, so they shouldn’t be disregarded when considering potential risk factors. However, if you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury and suffered because of it, the cause might not matter as much anymore. Your primary worry is probably compensation for your medical bills, suffering, and potential loss of enjoyment of life or function, which is where an experienced serious injury attorney in Arizona can help. Contact us at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate attorney who can secure you the settlement you deserve, giving you time to focus on recovery and loved ones.