Every year, motor vehicle accidents cause serious injuries to the spinal cord among drivers in South Carolina. Besides understanding what to do immediately after the accident, it is important to be aware of the long-term effects of spinal cord injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
How do spinal cord injuries occur in car accidents?
When you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, your body may experience sudden and violent forces, such as whiplash or compression. This can cause damage to the spinal cord resulting in partial or complete paralysis. Sometimes, the spinal cord can be stretched or compressed, leading to motor and sensory deficits.
Additionally, if motor vehicle occupants are ejected from the vehicle, they may suffer a traumatic impact with other objects or surfaces. This can cause further damage to the spinal cord.
What are the symptoms of a spinal cord injury?
One of the most common symptoms of a spinal cord injury is paralysis. Paralysis can range from complete loss of motor and sensory function to partial movement or sensation in the affected area. For instance, in situations where the spinal cord is only partially damaged, you may experience weakness or numbness in certain areas. Another symptom of a spinal cord injury is loss of bladder and bowel control, which is the result of a disruption to motor and sensory pathways. Last but not least, patients may also experience difficulty breathing, as a result of damage to the motor neurons that control respiratory muscles.
The most effective way to prevent motor vehicle-related spinal cord injuries is to practice safe driving habits. Make sure that you are always wearing your seatbelts, keeping your eyes on the road, and observing the speed limit. Additionally, motor vehicle occupants should stay in their seat at all times in order to reduce the risk of getting ejected from the vehicle. If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This can help to identify and treat any spinal cord injuries that may have occurred in the accident.