Age plays an important factor in the risk of spinal injury; the leading cause of serious spinal injury in the under 65 age bracket is motor vehicle accident, while above 65 the most significant cause of spinal injury is from trips and falls, with conditions such as osteoporosis adding further complicating factors.
Any impacts or injury to the head or torso can cause potentially cause damage to the soft tissue around the spine, its neurological structures or to the spine itself and frequently spinal injury can be difficult to diagnose in the short-term, particularly when symptoms are mild or unnoticeable at the time of the accident.
Unfortunately, undiagnosed and untreated spinal injury can have serious consequences. Here are some of the potential symptoms of spinal injury.
1. If you have suffered a spinal injury then you may experience local numbness or numbness throughout the body. Due to the spine’s role as the carrier of the nervous system, this can be in the arms, or legs, or face. The severity of the numbness can range from the sensation of pins and needles to complete lose of sensation.
2. Another common symptom of spinal injury is reflex abnormalities. As the nerves control the reflexes, any changes in the body’s reflexes may indicate some kind of spinal damage. You may experience twitches or jolts. You could also find that limbs are reacting slower than they used too, as the messages from the brain are being held up somewhere within the nervous system.
3. The spine also plays a key role in the autonomic nervous system, the structures responsible for controlling many of the body’s automatic functions, including control of blood pressure, pulse rate and breathing, the immune system and the body temperature. These are very complex systems and ascertaining a link between changes in these functions and spinal injury can be very difficult. Impairment in the autonomic nervous system could reveal itself in difficulty breathing, rapid pulse rate, or racing heart.
4. Depending on the cause, location and severity of the injury, parts of the body may experience short-term or long-term paralysis. With some spinal trauma loss of movement or feeling can be immediate, whereas some spinal injuries can result in the slow onset of paralysis, typically beginning with weakness and gradually deteriorating into paralysis. In the latter case symptoms may not be immediately apparent in the aftermath of the trauma and can develop days or even weeks later.
Paralysis can lead to other serious adverse affects on the body. Depending on the area of the body affected this can include circulatory and digestive problems, blood clots, infection, incontinence, problems with balance and even behavioral issues.