If you have seen emergency medical teams pull people from car crashes, you might notice they use rigid, body-length boards. These are spinal boards designed to transport someone while maintaining their spine in a straight position.
If you suffer a spinal injury in a car crash, it might not be immediately evident. Therefore the rescue teams err on the side of caution. They know that it only takes one wrong move to leaves someone paralyzed for life. By doing so, they reduce the chance of aggravating any damage already done in the crash.
How can I tell I have injured my spine in a crash?
Assuming you are still conscious after a car crash, there are a few signs of spinal injury you might notice:
- You cannot feel your legs: Paralysis usually takes place below the point of injury. So if you cannot feel your arms and your legs, the damage may be high on the spine. Your loss of feeling might not be permanent, but you cannot know that at the time.
- You struggle to balance: If you start walking and feel wobbly, sit down. It might be the shock, but it could be more serious.
- Severe head, neck or back pain: A collision is bound to hurt, but significant pain or pressure may point to spinal damage.
- Breathing difficulties: You might have winded yourself on the steering wheel, but it could also mean you have cracked ribs, a punctured lung or a spinal injury.
Getting a medical check-up immediately after a collision is crucial. The doctors can find damage you might not notice at first. Discovering the full extent of your injuries is essential to claiming adequate compensation after a car crash. If you do, indeed, have a spinal injury, your future expenses may be considerable, so it’s important to be proactive about your claim.