Railway spine

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(Med.) an abnormal condition due to severe concussion of the spinal cord, such as occurs in railroad accidents. It is characterized by ataxia and other disturbances of muscular function, sensory disorders, pain in the back, impairment of general health, and cerebral disturbance, - the symptoms often not developing till some months after the injury.

See also: Railroad

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
Since the time of Charles Dickens, who reported suffering what became known as "railway spine" following a train crash, insurers have been concerned that injuries allegedly caused in low-speed crashes that lack tangible proof such as broken bones are a fruitful source of fraudulent claims.
The first chapter starts with a discussion of "railway spine" (the 19th century term describing post traumatic symptoms following railway accidents) and the concept of traumatic psychosis that started developing in the middle of the 19th century.
Such physical manifestations of stress and anxiety reactions have been given a number of labels suggestive of a physical cause - for example during the American Civil War there was irritable heart and in the 19th century, railway spine.
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