Prevention and Diagnosis

Since brain and spine injuries are often the result of falls, motor vehicle accidents, and violence, prevention involves safe practices and protective measures.

Follow these tips to reduce the risk of brain and spine injury:

  • Drive safely. Car crashes are one of the most common causes of head and spinal cord injuries. Wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger and don’t drink and drive.
  • Check water depth before diving. Do not dive into a body of water unless it is at least 9 feet deep.
  • Prevent falls.
  • Wear a helmet when playing sports and while riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, or all-terrain vehicle.
  • Store firearms, unloaded, in a locked safe. Store bullets in a separate location.


At UT Southwestern Medical Center, our medical professionals will conduct a physical examination and use other diagnostic tests such as CT or MRI scans of the brain to determine whether you have a brain injury.

To diagnose whether you have a spine injury, our specialists will typically conduct a physical examination that includes testing sensory function and movements. They will also use diagnostic tests such as X-rays, CT, and MRI scans.