As with any sudden accident, a car crash can leave you feeling bruised and in pain.

However, noticing any lasting problems with your spinal cord may signal that you have serious medical issues.

Definition

According to the Mayo Clinic, car crashes are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. A sudden blow to your back from a crash can cause bleeding, swelling and inflammation. Whether you slammed against the seat or a piece of metal from the car cut your spine, a crash can potentially damage your brain and your central nervous system.

Symptoms

If you find yourself dealing with weakness or numbness in any part of your body, or if you had difficulty breathing, it may mean the source of your injuries is spinal cord trauma. This kind of trauma may not always appear obvious right away, since some victims may be in shock after a crash. Once the adrenaline wears off, stronger feelings of pain are easier to notice.

Spinal cord issues can change not only your body, but your emotions and social life as well. Feeling depressed or anxious is common in people who suffered from this kind of injury. Some even may experience post-traumatic stress disorder from the crash itself.

Long term problems

Nerve fiber damage along your back can make it harder to control your circulation or keep your blood pressure low. Losing sensation in your extremities and dealing with a loss of bowel control may also happen. In the days following a crash, it is important to seek medical attention if suspect you are suffering from spinal cord injuries, especially if you have other health complications from joint or bone disorders.