Spinal cord injuries can drastically alter an individual’s life in the immediate aftermath and for many years. From physical to emotional and social changes, the effects can be all-encompassing, posing daily challenges for those affected and their loved ones.
While each case is unique, with different causes and locations of injury, some impacts are common across most spinal cord injuries. These injuries frequently cause changes in an individual’s physical capabilities, which can significantly impact their lifestyle.
Changes in physical capabilities
Depending on the severity and location of a spinal cord injury, one may experience a partial or complete loss of motor control and sensation below the level of damage. This often results in paralysis of the lower limbs or all four limbs. These physical changes can necessitate mobility aids, require modifications to living spaces and often lead to significant changes in daily activities.
These injuries can also lead to complications such as bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and difficulties in breathing, which can further impact a person’s quality of life and independence.
Emotional and social impacts
Spinal cord injuries can lead to profound emotional and social changes. The loss of mobility and independence can often lead to feelings of frustration, depression and anxiety. It’s common for individuals to feel socially isolated as their ability to engage in previous activities and social events may be limited.
Additionally, these injuries can strain personal relationships and create new financial burdens due to medical bills and the cost of required adjustments to one’s living environment. Seeking compensation to offset the financial devastation that can come with these injuries is possible when the injury was due to the negligence of another party.