Whether due to a car accident or a slip and fall, spinal injuries have a range of serious effects. Being able to properly identify these effects is a must for getting the proper medical assistance after an injury has occurred. The Mayo Clinic explains the signs of a possible spinal injury and how to recognize them. 

People are often confused and disoriented in the aftermath of a traumatic accident. This disorientation makes it difficult to accurately determine whether you’ve been seriously injured. All people with suspected spinal cord injuries are encouraged to be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible, regardless of their current symptoms. The onset of symptoms may be delayed or may appear gradually over the course of days. Additionally, the sooner a spinal cord injury is diagnosed, the better the effect of treatment on the injury. 

Some symptoms indicate the need for immediate medical attention from emergency personnel. Numbness, weakness in the legs or arms, problems with balance and coordination, severe pain, and difficulty breathing all signal major spinal damage. If these symptoms are present, the person should not be moved from their original position. Their head and neck must also be kept stable and until emergency personnel arrives. Moving the injured person could cause paralysis depending on the nature of their injuries. 

When it comes to causes of spinal injuries, car accidents make up nearly half of all spinal injuries that occur annually. Falls also rank high as a cause, with most injuries due to slip and fall accidents occurring to people 65 and older. Other causes include sports injuries, medical conditions, and acts of violence.