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Spinal Injury Symptoms and Knowing when to Contact an Attorney

November 2, 2015

If you have been injured (for example, in a vehicle collision or a slip-and-fall incident) and are experiencing certain back pain symptoms, it may be wise to consult an attorney. Often, when these things happen, we are reluctant to admit that there could be a serious problem. However, spinal injuries can appear minor at first, only to advance drastically in a short period of time. The worst thing you can tell yourself in this situation is, “maybe it will go away.” It won’t. These injuries need to be addressed, as they could have a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life.

Our bodies are much more fragile than we realize, and as we age, we become more susceptible to injuries, especially ones to our spines. Spinal injuries vary in severity and could be more or less serious depending upon the area of the spine that was injured. Bear in mind that there are two types of spinal injuries (complete and incomplete), and that symptoms vary depending on the type that you have sustained:

  • Complete: In a complete spine injury, the individual loses nearly all motor and sensory function below the locus of the trauma.
  • Incomplete: In an incomplete spine injury, the individual will retain some degree of motor and sensory function below the locus of the trauma depending on the severity of the injury.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have experienced an injury that not only should be checked out by a qualified medical professional, but that also warrants a free consultation with the Law Office of William D. Cook:

Loss of Sensation

Numbness in nearly any part of the body can indicate an injury to the spine. Numbness often comes as the result of damaged nerves and can present as abnormal sensations casually referred to as “pins-and-needles” but medically known as paresthesias.

Reflex Response

Our nerves also control our reflexes, so if your body feels under-responsive or completely unresponsive to regular stimuli, this may point toward a potentially serious spinal injury.


Another potential symptom of a spinal injury is a partial or complete loss of control of your bladder or bowels. When the spinal cord is unable to transfer messages from your bladder and/or bowels to your brain, incontinence may result. Therefore, difficulty controlling your bodily functions could indicate damage to the spine.

Muscle Spasms 

When individuals suffer a spinal injury, they often experience moderate to extreme muscle spasms. In a healthy spine, motor neuron signals are sent from the brain when specific muscles need to contract or relax. In an injured spine, however, these signals can be compromised, causing the brain to fire these motor neurons spontaneously and for prolonged periods of time, which results in painful, often debilitating muscle spasms.

Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual stimulation is largely dependent on our nervous system reacting to various stimuli. If you are having difficulty performing sexually following a recent injury, it’s possible that your spine has been damaged and that your nerves are no longer functioning correctly.

At the Law Office of William D. Cook, our experienced staff understands the sensitive and important concerns associated with a serious spinal injury. We know that this is a frightening time for you and your family, and we are here to help in any way we can. If you feel that your injuries could warrant a personal injury claim, please contact us at (907) 694-2000. We offer free consultations and are willing to travel to your location if you are unable to make the trip to visit us. You can trust us to stand by you through this difficult time and to fight for the justice you deserve.



Patient Care and Health Info. (2015). Spinal cord injury symptoms. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

Stimson, D. (2010, Sept. 10). Spinal cord injury, spasms, and serotonin. NIH. Retrieved from


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