Car accidents take many forms, but there’s one pattern among virtually all car accidents: there’s a high chance you could suffer a spinal injury. While airbags and seatbelts help cushion people in an accident, they can only help victims so much.
Spinal injuries are often very serious and can lead to long-term injuries and disability. The following are three kinds of traumatic spine injuries you could suffer after experiencing a car accident.
#1. Herniated disc
The spine is made up of a row of vertebrae. Each vertebra is cushioned with liquid sacks, which are tough and rubbery and have a jelly-like center. These sacks absorb shock and help reduce friction between the bones, helping reduce pressure on the nerves and bone.
However, in a car accident, if the spine suffers a blow, then there’s a chance these sacks can burst and the liquid inside can leak out. While the bursting may hurt in itself, it’s the after-effects that often cause the most struggle: nerve damage and stress on the spine. Many people struggle to move or sit up as a result of a herniated disc.
#2. Lumbar spinal stenosis
The lower part of the spine is called the lumbar. There are also nerves that run up a tube inside the vertebrae. When this tube narrows in the lumbar vertebrae, then this is considered lumbar spinal stenosis. In some cases, an accident may cause lumbar spinal stenosis, though it may be difficult to detect symptoms immediately.
One of the worst kinds of injuries to suffer is paralysis. Paralysis is the inability to feel or move limbs. The spinal cord acts to send signals from the brain to your limbs. When this signal is disrupted, then there may be nerve damage and paralysis.
In some cases, people are born with paralysis, but it can also occur when the spinal cord is seriously injured, such as during a car accident. Paralysis can affect a small area, but in some cases, people lose the use of their legs or everything from the neck down.
It’s important to seek medical attention after a car accident to ensure you aren’t seriously harmed. If you are injured and you require medical help, then you may want to be aware of your legal options when seeking financial coverage for your medical expenses.