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What to Do After a Spinal Cord Injury from a Car Accident

— November 18, 2022

The amount of force from the impact of a car crash can cause herniated discs in the spine, which places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

In the aftermath of a car accident, spinal cord injuries are a serious concern. Injuries to the spine or spinal cord are considered catastrophic injuries that can often leave the victim with life-changing impacts. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, since 2015, nearly 40% of all spinal cord injuries were caused by motor vehicle accidents. Knowing what to do after a spinal cord injury is important for everyone in the event that a loved one suffers a tragic injury. 

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is a part of the central nervous system. Any damage to the spinal cord caused by a catastrophic accident is considered a spinal cord injury. In the event of a serious car accident, the impact from the collision can often result in a variety of back injuries including whiplash, herniated discs, and vertebral fractures. Severe spinal injuries can result in damage to the central nervous system which interferes with the nerves connected to the brain and the rest of the body. These types of spinal cord injuries can interrupt proper motor function and sensory skills. In cases in which the spinal cord suffers permanent nerve damage, the injury can result in paralysis which causes a loss of the ability to control movement and other bodily functions, or feel sensation below the point of injury. 

Get Professional Medical Advice From a Doctor

An immediate first step after experiencing a car accident is seeing a doctor and getting professional medical advice. Having a doctor not only check for signs of spinal cord injury, but also other catastrophic injuries such as brain injury or fractured bones, is an important step to take care of. A medical professional will be able to determine if you have suffered a spinal cord injury as well as the severity of your injury. Depending on how the accident occurred and the type of impact you sustained, a doctor will be able to take the proper imaging and scans of your back and spine to see the extent of the injury. Based on the results, the doctor can refer you to a specialized chiropractic to seek treatment for your spinal cord injury. 

Seek Chiropractic Care For A Treatment Plan

Depending on the extent of your spinal cord injury, an experienced chiropractor will be able to help you determine the best treatment after your accident. The spinal cord injury lawyers at Liles White know that back and spine injuries can cause both short-term and long-term disability and recommend seeking a chiropractor for treatments to help with your recovery. Since spinal injuries are often catastrophic and result in life-changing impacts, seeking chiropractic care can help you find a long-term treatment plan from medications, to physical therapy, or surgery.

Conservative Treatments vs Surgical Treatments For Spinal Cord Injury

After suffering a spinal cord injury from a car accident, most injury victims first consider a non-surgical, or conservative, spinal injury treatment. Medications are often the first recommendation for immediate pain relief and to reduce inflammation at the injury site after a traumatic injury to the back and spine. For less severe injuries, a brace may be recommended to strengthen and support your spine, as well as the muscles and tendons surrounding it. Physical therapy is a frequently prescribed treatment for spinal cord injury victims. Working with a physical therapist, specialized exercises depending on the stage of spinal injury can help with strengthening and healing the damaged part of the spine.

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In severe car accidents which result in serious damage to the spine, surgical treatment may be needed and recommended by a chiropractor. The amount of force from the impact of a car crash can cause herniated discs in the spine, which places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. In the case of a ruptured or herniated disk, a surgical procedure known as a discectomy may be needed to treat and relieve the pain. Another surgical treatment in instances in which one or more vertebrae have been fractured is a spinal fusion. This surgical procedure stabilizes the spine by bridging the bone of two or more vertebrae and can help victims regain the ability to use their back.

Find Out If You Can Recover Compensation For Your Injuries

Being a victim of a car accident and suffering a spinal cord injury is never something anyone expects to experience. If a negligent driver was responsible for causing a car accident resulting in your injury, it is important to seek help from a legal team to recover the compensation you deserve. The car accident attorneys at Purvis Gray Thompson have helped car accident victims secure financial compensation for auto damages, medical expenses, and more. Working with an experienced team of attorneys can help protect your rights and hold the negligent party accountable.

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