When many people hear reference to the spinal cord, they may initially think this is part of the back or spine. Actually, the spinal cord is a vital part of your central nervous system. It includes a bundle of nerves and tissues responsible for transmitting messages from the brain to the rest of the body and back. When the spinal cord sustains an injury, this vital transmission pathway may be interrupted. The results of a spinal cord injury can vary dramatically.

As explained by the Mayo Clinic, you may not always know that your spinal cord has been damaged right away. Some symptoms may not appear until the swelling or bleeding in the area becomes more pronounced. As with many other types of injury, prompt attention may make a significant difference in the long-term effect of a spinal cord injury.

Some spinal cord injuries are severe enough that a person permanently loses all feeling and ability to move from the location of the injury down. Therefore, the higher up the location of the injury, the more significant the impact will be on a person’s life. An injury to the spinal cord near the neck may result in full paralysis from the neck down, including the arms, legs and torso.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people an overview of the importance of the spinal cord, the potential impact of an injury to the spinal cord and what it is essential to take action as soon as an injury to the spinal cord is suspected.