Car accidents and slip-and-fall injuries caused by the fault of another may result in serious spinal damage. The Mayo Clinic reports that most people who suffer these injuries are in their late teens to early 30s; however, you may experience one at any age.

If you experience a car accident, fall or a violent act that injures your spine, understanding the immediate effects may help you understand what kind of medical treatment you may need in the future.

Loss of sensation

After an accident, you may experience numbness almost anywhere in your body, depending on which bones in the spine experience trauma. Loss of sensation may occur in a variety of extremities, including:

  • Hands/fingers
  • Toes
  • Legs

The permanence of this condition usually depends on the degree and circumstances of the injury, and seeking medical attention is usually the best course of action if the sensations persist.

Breathing problems

Some spinal injuries can involve the neck, which is otherwise known as cervical damage. When this occurs, the area of the spine responsible for regulating your breathing could fail or suffer damage, causing changes in your respiration. You may experience tightness in your chest or feel short of breath.

Balance issues

After a spinal injury, you may find that walking or climbing up and down stairs becomes difficult because you cannot maintain your balance. Loss or reduction of motor function may signal a lumbar injury, which can affect the lower back.

Motor vehicle accidents are usually the main cause of spinal injuries. While not all damage is permanent, some of these incidents may result in partial or full paralysis.