The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that sends messages between brain and body. It is a delicate structure that trauma, disease or other conditions can easily damage. If you or your loved one in Massachusetts suspect spinal cord injury, you should know when and how to deal with it to ensure the best outcome.
What to do
In Massachusetts, you can seek medical care for spinal cord injuries at any emergency room or urgent care center. Not all healthcare providers can treat this type of injury, so it is important to inform the attending healthcare teams about your concerns before they begin any work. If you are in a rural area and cannot access a specialized facility nearby, be sure to call ahead and make sure the provider has experience treating spinal cord injuries before arriving.
It is also important to know what signs or symptoms warrant a visit to the hospital or clinic for immediate treatment of a suspected spinal cord injury. These include:
• Paralysis in the arms or legs
• Loss of feeling or sensation in the extremities
• Difficulty walking or standing
• Pain in the neck or back
• Numbness or tingling
• Bowel and bladder control problems
• Pressure on the spinal cord from swelling or bleeding
How to cover your medical expenses
If you have medical insurance in Massachusetts, your plan should cover the costs of a spinal cord injury diagnosis and treatment. However, if you don’t have insurance or are on a limited income, there are programs available to help cover those costs.
The first place to look is your local town or county government’s social services department or charitable organizations. They may be able to provide financial assistance for medical bills related to your injury. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit if someone else was responsible for your injury.
It is important to take immediate action if you suspect a spinal cord injury in Massachusetts, as prompt treatment can improve outcomes significantly. Most people gain full recovery, while others find better ways to deal with their injuries.