The base of your brain connects to your spinal cord. These two components make up your body’s central nervous system, and the nerves outside of those structures combine to form your body’s peripheral nervous system. Together, these systems control your body. How you move, how fast you process information, and how you react to changes are all dependent on how well these body systems work.
That being said, is it possible for spinal cord injuries to cause subsequent traumatic brain injuries? The answer varies depending on a host of factors, including the severity of your spinal injury, the type of accident, and your health condition. Nonetheless, yes—an injury to the spine could impact the brain. Learn more about what this means below.
What Happens When the Spinal Cord is Damaged?
The total force exerted on the spine during an accident is tolerated by the entire human body. Every single part of your body absorbs the energy during impact up to a certain extent. The greater the force of impact, the more energy the body will need to contain. The spinal cord is usually damaged when a violent and sudden blow causes vertebra to collapse or crack. Within seconds, swelling or bleeding may form in the spinal canal, slowing down blood flow and oxygen to nerve tissue.
Since the human head is disproportionately larger than the neck, trauma to the spinal cord can weaken the neck and make it difficult for the brain to get enough support or communicate with other parts of the body. If any nerves are damaged in your spine, those same nerves are connected to your brain and thus will be affected.
Understanding the Potential Link Between Spinal and Brain Injuries is Key to Recovery
Knowing that a brain injury could develop following a spinal cord injury is critical to your health. Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries often exhibit similar symptoms initially, such as loss of consciousness and paralysis. In addition, symptoms of a brain injury could take longer to appear. Consequently, a physician may unintentionally miss the onset of a brain injury due to the seriousness of the victim’s spinal cord injury.
During recovery, a spinal cord victim may notice delayed progression or note a change in brain function or behavior. Although being diagnosed with more than one injury at a time can feel overwhelming, the importance of a complete diagnosis cannot be overstated. Only with a full medical assessment and accurate diagnosis can you obtain the treatment needed to manage your injuries.
Ready to Work with Our California Personal Injury Lawyers?
The right treatment plan is not the only reason it’s important to understand the full extent of your injuries. A proper diagnosis helps accident victims gain a clearer picture of what to expect in the future. Having the wrong idea about your injuries could end up costing you big time, particularly when filing a claim with your insurance to get reimbursed for your medical expenses.
If you accept a settlement offer without accounting for additional injuries or prolonged recovery times, you will likely have a tough time keeping up financially, physically, and emotionally. Seize the opportunity to protect your rights by reaching out to the California personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of JG Winter.
At the Law Offices of JG Winter, we’ve spent over thirty years as professional legal advocates helping injured accident victims get compensation they deserve. Where many firms seek to handle several cases at once, our firm strives to provide personalized, responsive, and transparent services on a case-by-case basis. Complete a contact form or call 844-734-2626 for a free consultation about your case today.