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When should you go to the doctor for a spinal injury?

Spinal cord injuries or SCIs are shockingly common in the U.S. When many people think of these types of injuries in Delaware, they imagine people being rushed to the hospital after a dramatic incident. Other people picture someone who is bedridden and completely unable to move.

Hundreds of thousands living with SCIs

But the most recent numbers from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association show that up to 450,000 Americans live with these types of injuries every day, with about 17,000 new spinal cord injuries annually. And many of these individuals them still go about their daily lives without ever seeking medical care.

It is sometimes hard to know whether or not you’ve been injured severely enough to necessitate a trip to the emergency room. If the injury doesn’t seem severe enough to warrant immediate care, many people are tempted to try sleeping it off and hope it gets better on its own. But there are some symptoms that you definitely shouldn’t ignore.

Symptoms to watch out for

If you’ve recently experienced a personal injury and have significant pressure or pain in the head, back or neck, it’s critical that you get yourself to a doctor as soon as possible. Abnormal bumps on the spine or head are also symptoms that you should bring up to a healthcare professional.

You should also seek medical attention if you have a tingling sensation or numbness in any of your extremities including fingers, hands, toes and feet. The same is true if you partly or entirely lose control over a part of your body or if you’ve lost control of your bladder or bowels. Retention or incontinence after an injury also calls for a trip to the hospital.

One more SCI symptom to take seriously is the sensation of having a band around your thorax. It’s usually fairly painful but may present as pressure and might make it hard to breathe.