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We usually imagine spinal cord injury victims in wheelchairs, unable to use their legs or in some cases even their upper body to perform the kinds of tasks that people in Kentucky do in everyday life. However, spinal cord injuries do not necessarily result in just paralyzed limbs. Because the spinal cord is the primary transmitter for nerve signals to the rest of the body, there are many ways a spinal cord injury can impact your quality of life.

First, it is important to recognize that symptoms of a spinal cord injury do not always manifest themselves immediately following an accident. The Mayo Clinic cautions that individuals who receive a traumatic blow to the head or the neck should be examined as soon as possible to determine if spinal cord damage has taken place. Timeliness is crucial, as a proper diagnosis can help reduce the extent of the damage before it gets worse and even save a life.

The results of spinal cord injuries can include any number of diminished body functions. An afflicted individual may have problems feeling warmth or coldness on other solid surfaces, or not even be able to feel sensations while touching. And while a person may still be able to walk after a spinal cord injury, problems with movement could still result, including spasms, pain, balance problems, or exaggerations in reflex motions.

Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can also result in embarrassing moments. Victims may possess difficulty in controlling their bowels or their bladder. Additionally, spinal cord injury can also affect the victim’s intimate performance, including causing problems with sexual sensitivity and functioning sexually. The victim may also have problem becoming pregnant or impregnating a sexual partner.

Spinal cord injuries can drastically impact a person’s quality of life even if the individual does not suffer one of the worst case scenarios. However, the impact of this kind of personal injury is still serious and will require extensive rehabilitation and lifestyle changes so the victim can cope with the affliction.

This article, while written to educate readers on spinal cord injuries, should not be read as legal advice.