Motor vehicle accidents account for 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries. While your spine may be strong enough to protect your nerves from everyday bumps and poor sleeping positions, it’s simply not made to resist major trauma. Luckily, your vertebrae are strong and durable enough to not easily break. However, there are many other parts of the spinal cord that make it a fairly delicate structure.
The most common injuries to the spinal cord are from strains and tears to muscles, ligaments and tendons. This can cause severe swelling, bruising and other fairly serious injuries. Perhaps the most well-known of these kinds of injuries is whiplash. This is when the neck jolts back then suddenly forward, putting massive strain on the upper portion of the spinal cord, or cervical curve.
You may also suffer from spinal fractures in the middle to lower back. In a car accident, your upper body will move forward due to the sudden stop. However, your torso remains in place, if your seatbelt is working properly. This can result in your vertebrae being pulled apart, causing fractures, herniated disks and other injuries to the soft tissue and cartilage. If not treated quickly, such injuries could result in permanent disability and other lifelong issues.