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Symptoms of spinal cord injuries

Have you recently been in a major car accident or work accident? Are you having problems regaining the use of your limbs? You may have a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury. There are some symptoms that may help diagnose a spinal cord injury.

The best indicator of a spinal cord injury is the loss of motion or decreased ability to move certain parts of the body. Signs and symptoms that may indicate an injury include loss of movement, loss of sensation or changes in sexual function. Immediately after an accident, extreme back pain, loss of bowel control or impaired breathing are also indicators of a spinal cord injury.

Determining the extent of the spinal cord injury depends on the location of the injury. A complete spinal cord injury means that the patient has lost all control of motor or movement function below the injured area of the spinal cord. When there is an incomplete injury there is some remaining motor or sensory function below the affected area. There can be varying degrees of incomplete spinal cord injuries.

Another way to classify paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury is to describe the parts of the body that are paralyzed. Tetraplegia is also known as quadriplegia. If this has occurred, the arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are affected during the injury. Paraplegic paralysis affects a part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs. Anyone who suspects that he or she has a spinal cord injury should see a physician. If your injuries leave you unable to work, consider filing a Social Security disability claim. A Social Security disability lawyer can be helpful resource for those filing claims.

Source: The Mayo Clinic, "Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms," last visited June 8, 2015

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