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Spinal Injuries after a Car Wreck: Quite Common but Difficult to Diagnose

Spinal injuries are common after auto and truck crashes but are difficult to diagnose specifically. Prompt treatment and multiple imaging studies can reduce the possibility of permanent nerve damage, and complying with medical, surgical, or chiropractic care is essential.  Do not ignore the onset or the persistent lingering of nervous symptoms after an injury.  Mention them to your doctor as soon as possible.

Spinal Injuries

The spine is a column of supportive bones, or vertebrae, that protect the spinal cord and provide support to the body and skeleton.  There are 31 vertebrae (24 are moveable) with an attendant 31 nerves that exit the vertebral column at each level and provide motor and sensory control of the body.  Between the vertebrae are soft cartilage structures called discs, supported by many ligaments, tendons and muscles.  Sensory nerves exit the spinal cord between the vertebrae.  The ones that exit the front of the column (ventral nerves) provide motor control of the body.  The ones that exit the back of the spine (dorsal nerves) provide sensation to the body.  There are eight cervical nerves named C1 to C8, 12 thoracic nerves named T1 to T12, five lumbar nerves named L1 to L5, five sacral nerves named S1 to S5, and one coccygeal nerve.  Injury to the spine can involve damage to any of these structures and can cause pain, paralysis, loss of sensation or impaired mobility; either temporarily or permanently.  

Common spinal injuries can include whiplash, ruptured discs, pinched nerves, and less frequently, spinal fractures.  If you have suffered a spinal injury as a result of a car wreck, you should contact an experienced Alpharetta personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.