After a major car crash, you may feel intense pain in your back and spine. 

This ache could signal a spinal cord injury, which impacts not only your muscles but also your mood and brain. 

Accidents and injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic, these kinds of injuries often occur when someone is sharply whipped back against his or her seat in a crash. This impacts the base of your spine and your lower back, which both control your torso, bowels and limbs. 

Your central nervous system is also impacted in a spinal cord accident, as well as your brain and soft tissue. Injuries here can cause mood swings and even partial or complete paralysis in some cases. 

Initial warning signs

After a crash, you may feel a loss of sensation in your legs or arms. Sometimes, the adrenaline from the accident prevents you from noticing any pain until days afterwards. 

Muscle spasms or trouble with bowel control can typically come from this kind of injury. Having trouble with sensing temperatures in your extremities is another sign of spinal cord trauma. Internal bleeding or swelling also make spinal cord injuries harder to spot than other health problems. 

Intense symptoms

If left untreated, these issues may make it increasingly harder for you to walk or balance. If you find yourself coughing up secretions often or struggling to breathe, you should seek medical help. Spinal cord injuries sometimes come on gradually rather than all at once. 

Spinal trauma can affect your mood and personality in severe cases. If you feel increasingly irritated, anxious or depressed, then it may be because of brain injuries from the crash.