Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries in Washington DC

The spinal cord is one of the most important and fragile parts of the body. It carries nerve signals from the brain to the body, allowing you to move and feel. Think of the spinal cord as the trunk of a complex tree with many branches. It can be damaged in many different ways, and any injury to the spinal cord can affect many other parts of the body.

Because of this, spinal cord injuries can be costly to treat and recover from. If you suffer from a spinal cord injury due to an accident in DC, it is best to reach out to a qualified attorney who can help you understand your rights to financial recovery for your medical expenses.

Basics of the Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is an essential messenger between the brain and the body. Every time you touch something, the nervous system passes signals through your spinal cord to your brain, which interprets that touch as a feeling or sensation. The spinal cord allows you to experience your environment.

If you feel for the vertebrae in your back, the bones you are touching actually make up the spinal column, which protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a long, thin rope of nervous tissue encased by the spinal column. This protection is crucial because the spinal cord is responsible for many bodily functions.

Any trauma to the spinal column could impact the all-important spinal cord beneath. Although sight, hearing, smell, and taste are senses that derive from nerves in the head and not from the spinal cord, the rest of the body can be affected by spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spine can impact the ability to sense temperature and the ability to move and feel different muscles.

Anatomy of the Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is divided into five segments. Each section branches off into spinal nerves which control specific functions of the body. The symptoms and severity of any spinal cord injury will depend on which section of the spinal cord was impacted.


The cervical area is at the top of the spinal cord. This segment controls neck muscles, the diaphragm, shoulder muscles, biceps, triceps and wrists.


The thoracic area is located beneath the cervical segment and controls much of the midsection of the body. This includes hand muscles, trunk and waist muscles, and abdominal muscles.


This segment of the spinal cord is found in the lower back. The lumbar area controls muscles in the hips, thighs, knees, and feet.


The sacral segment is found at the bottom of the back where the spine begins to curve under itself. This segment controls the bladder, bowel, and sexual organs.


The coccyx, commonly known as the tailbone, is the lowermost part of the spine.

A DC Attorney Who Understands Spinal Cord Injuries Could Help

Although many people recover from spinal cord injuries, some cases may require surgery or even ongoing rehabilitation to manage lifelong effects. In severe cases, damage to the spinal cord can even cause paralysis. Permanent damage is not uncommon for many spinal cord injuries.

These types of injuries can be devastating and costly, often requiring significant medical expenses for treatment and rehabilitation. If you damaged your spinal cord in an accident in DC, you may want to consider seeking legal assistance from an attorney who understands the unique challenges you face. A qualified lawyer could help you assert your right to financial recovery.