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Spinal shock can make a spinal cord injury seem worse than it is

Any spinal cord injury is a frightening experience for the victim. Just the thought of having to live with paralysis or other serious symptoms is enough to instill fear in your heart and mind.

One thing that might make you worried immediately after the injury occurs is spinal shock. This is a medical issue that causes a temporary, yet scary, paralysis in the area below the injury. In most cases, spinal shock will abate in the days after the injury. You might also experience a loss of sensation in the area when this occurs.

The medical care you receive after a spinal cord injury is likely going to include some diagnostic testing to help determine the type and severity of the injury. This can help to give the doctors treating you an idea of whether the symptoms you are experiencing are likely due to the spinal cord injury or shock. This information can have an impact on the type of treatments you undergo.

The most common type of diagnostic testing done is a CT scan of the spine or an MRI of the spine. These let the doctors take a look inside of the area to make a determination of what is going on with you.

Even when spinal cord shock is a reason for the severity of the impacts of the injury, you will likely still need considerable medical care for a prolonged period. In some cases, fully recovering from spinal shock can take a full year or longer. In these cases, you might find that you are on a tight financial string. Seeking compensation might help to alleviate the stress in that area.

Source: Clinical Advisor, "Spinal shock," Maria Frank, accessed Oct. 27, 2017

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