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How does a spinal cord injury affect the body?

The Carolina Law Group > Blog  > How does a spinal cord injury affect the body?

How does a spinal cord injury affect the body?

Nihar Patel, Attorney & Partner of the Carolina Law Group in Greenville, SC.

Nihar Patel, Attorney & Partner of the Carolina Law Group in Greenville, SC.

Loss of Function

The brain communicates with the muscles and organs of the body through motor neurons. When these nerve cells are destroyed or damaged due to a spinal cord injury, it can result in total or partial loss of function, since the messages being sent by the brain no longer make it to the muscles.

Loss of function in the muscles could mean weakness, reduced range of motion, loss of reflexes, and/or difficulty voluntarily moving muscles at or below the site of the injury. In severe cases, complete paralysis can lead to total loss of function. Over time, muscles can atrophy and lose strength because they’re being used less.

But a spinal cord injury can also lead to loss of function that’s less obvious from the outside than loss of muscle control. If motor neurons that communicate with the organs are damaged, it can lead to loss of function in the organs and the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling involuntary functions like digestion, blood pressure, and heart rate. A spinal cord injury can therefore lead to issues with body temperature, bladder function, digestion, sexual function, and much more.

Loss of Sensation

When the messages from the body to the brain don’t work as normal due to a spinal cord injury, that can lead to loss of sensation.

Numbness, tingling, or complete loss of sensation at or below the site of the injury can occur. Loss of sensation can result not only is reduced quality of life, but it can be a health and safety issue, too, since the brain is no longer able to receive signals that a part of the body is too cold (or freezing), too hot (or burning), or is experiencing too much pressure.


Pain is common in people who have experienced a spinal cord injury. Again, the location and severity of the spinal cord injury affects the type of pain and where it’s located in the body. Common types of pain after a spinal cord injury include musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, and visceral pain (in or from the organs).

Speak with the Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

If you or a loved one is living with a spinal cord injury due to a trauma (like a car accident, assault, or fall) that was someone else’s fault, call the personal injury lawyers at The Carolina Law Group. We have experience handling spinal cord injury cases and can help you get the money you need as you focus on your physical and mental health. Call one of the numbers below to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about your case.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Mr. Patel worked for the Greenville County Public Defender’s Office in 2005 after graduating from law school. While there, Mr. Patel handled thousands of cases ranging from low-level misdemeanors to high-profile murders. In March 2011, Mr. Patel and Mr. Desai formed The Carolina Law Group. Mr. Patel practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. In 2011, Mr. Patel was elected as the President of the Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (GACDL).

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