4 potential complications of spinal cord injuries

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | PERSONAL INJURY - Personal Injury

The spinal cord is the major link between the brain and the rest of the body, transmitting signals that control movement, sensation and vital functions. Spinal cord injuries, though relatively uncommon, can result from various traumatic events such as car accidents, falls or sports injuries.

While it is possible to recover from an initial spinal cord injury, there remains the potential for long-term complications and challenges that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and functional abilities. The following are among the most common.


After spinal cord injury, victims often experience spasticity, which is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions and stiffness. This can lead to difficulties in movement, coordination and daily activities. Spasticity can range from mild to severe and may affect different muscle groups depending on the location and severity of the spinal cord injury. In some cases, spasticity can be painful and contribute to joint contractures and deformities if not properly managed through therapies and medications.

Bladder and bowel problems

Even after the initial injury, individuals with spinal cord injuries commonly face challenges related to bladder and bowel function. Depending on the level of injury, there may be disruptions in the communication between the brain and the bladder/bowel, leading to urinary and fecal incontinence, retention or difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels. These issues not only impact physical comfort and hygiene but can also increase the risk of urinary tract infections, kidney problems and bowel complications if left untreated.

Neuropathic pain

Another significant complication of spinal cord injuries is neuropathic pain, which arises from damage to the nerves themselves. This type of pain is often described as sharp, shooting, burning or tingling sensations and can occur both at the site of the injury and in areas below the level of injury. Neuropathic pain can be chronic and debilitating, impacting sleep, mood and overall quality of life.

Given all that is at stake, if you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to another party’s recklessness or wrongdoing, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance to understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation and justice.