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What happens after a spinal cord injury?

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Serious car accidents can cause a range of injuries, including significant damage to the spinal cord. With severe damage comes many possible complications, some of which can have lasting effects.

If you or a loved one has experienced a major injury, it is important to understand all potential effects as you plan for the future. Here are a few possible complications and how they impact the body.

Reflex dysfunction

Messages sent from the brain move through the spinal cord to different areas of the body. Spinal cord injuries disrupt this process, which leads to reflex dysfunction. While some spontaneous reflexes may occur, signals cannot travel to the brain as they normally would if the spinal cord was intact.


Spasticity refers to contraction of the muscles and tendons, which leaves the body feeling stiff and restricted. Like reflex dysfunction, spasticity results from disrupted signals between the brain and muscle tissue. It usually presents after spinal shock has resolved, which is a loss of spinal cord reflexes that typically resolves in a few days or weeks.

Chronic pain

In addition to the acute pain that can stem from your injuries, spinal cord damage also carries a risk of chronic pain. This can result from changes to or overuse of bodily structures like joints and ligaments.

Deep vein thrombosis

When injuries restrict movement, you are also at risk of developing a blood clot in one of the extremities. Blood clots cause very serious complications if they travel to the lungs, so proper care is a must to prevent this from occurring. Medication and surgical procedures are common treatment for deep vein thrombosis.

Regardless of the effects of an injury, victims must seek suitable medical care to limit discomfort and dysfunction. Proper care can aid in your recovery while also preventing more serious damage from occurring.


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