A spinal cord injury can be a devastating event, and it only takes a split second and a single event: A car accident, a fall from a ladder, an injury while playing sports — any of those things could do it. When a spinal cord injury (SCI) happens, it can change your life forever. 

Just one way that it does so is by making it so that you have to live with chronic pain. While this is not the case for every single person who has experienced an SCI, it is true for the majority of them. In some cases, the pain gets to be so severe that daily enjoyment of life — let alone the ability to work — becomes impossible. 

One thing that is interesting is that a person does not necessarily have to have normal sensations in order to have this type of chronic pain. Say you fall and injure your back, losing sensation from the waist down. You could have pain above your waste, perhaps in your back and spinal column, but you could also have pain below the waist, despite the fact that you can feel nothing else. 

Nerves are complicated. They communicate the sensation of pain to your brain, which is why you feel it. If they become damaged, they could still transmit those electrical impulses, even if your body has no other reason to feel the pain, and then it will still impact you just as if there was a reason. This can be very frustrating and it’s one of the reasons people feel like they’re dealing with the SCI forever. 

If this happens to you and you can’t work, make sure you know what legal options you have to obtain the Social Security Disability benefits you need to meet your needs and protect your future.