Spinal cord injuries are one of the most dangerous injuries you can sustain. Not only are the changes from this type of injury often permanent, but they may also result in paralysis. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, car accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries. 

Motor vehicle accidents and spinal cord injuries 

As reported on Mayo Clinic, nearly half of all new spinal cord injuries each year are the result of motor vehicle accidents. This makes vehicular accidents the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. The following are some warning signs following an accident that may indicate a spinal cord injury has occurred. 

  • Intense pain or pressure in your back, neck, or head 
  • Your body seems twisted or positioned unnaturally  
  • Any sign of paralysis, weakness or loss of feeling in your limbs or extremities 
  • Difficulty breathing following an accident 
  • Difficulty maintaining balance or walking 

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, get to a hospital right away. 

Other causes of spinal cord injuries 

Although motor vehicle accidents are the frontrunner when it comes to causes of spinal cord injuries, other accidents put you at risk. 

  • Falls currently cause over 30% of spinal cord injuries 
  • Violent acts, such as knife or gunshot wounds contribute to around 13% of these injuries 
  • 10% of spinal cord injuries are due to athletic activities such as football or diving in water that is not deep enough 

Also, alcohol seems to play a part in spinal cord injuries with a full 25% of cases involving it. While there are some risk factors, these injuries are nearly always the result of some kind of accident.