Living with a spinal cord injury

When living with a spinal injury, a person may have to face pain, mobility changes and grief.

If a West Virginia resident receives a spinal injury in a car crash, his or her life may be forever changed. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are an estimated 288,000 people across the country who have to live with an injury to the spinal cord. While this type of injury may not be that common, it can still affect how a person lives. Whether it took place due to an automobile collision or a workplace accident, living with the injury can take some getting used to.

Pain

After an injury that affects a person's spinal cord, there may be chronic pain. The pain could radiate all over the body including in areas where most feeling has been lost due to bodily damage. Anyone who has received a spinal cord wound may have neuropathic pain and other types of discomfort, including the following:

  • Abdominal aching
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Joint agony

Whether the pain comes and goes or remains at a constant level, it could change how a person acts in his or her day-to-day life.

Mobility

A spinal injury can affect how a person moves. A once independent individual may now have to rely on a cane, wheelchair or walker to get from place to place. Part of the reason mobility is often affected by this localized wound is because it can change the way the muscles are able to maintain strength. If a spinal injury results in a decline in range of motion, the affected person may no longer be able to participate in the same activities he or she enjoyed prior to the accident.

With a change in mobility, a person may have to rethink many aspects of his or her life. Not only may someone with a spinal injury have to give up on certain activities, but he or she may also have to revamp his or her entire home. This is especially true for individuals confined to a wheelchair after suffering spinal cord damage.

Grief

Because of the major challenges, it is easy for anyone affected by a wound of this nature to feel some form of grief. Someone in daily pain may mourn for the pain-free days. A person who loses the ability to walk may struggle to make peace with his or her perceived limitations. No matter the outcome of a spinal cord wound, there is likely going to be some sort of emotional toll.

If a West Virginia inhabitant is in an accident that results in a spinal cord injury, he or she may need to completely change his or her day-to-day life. No matter the source of the injury, it can be beneficial to work with an attorney familiar with this type of case.