Spinal cord injury

What is a spinal cord injury?

If the spinal cord is damaged, messages travelling from the brain to the rest of the body are disrupted or blocked and can result in a loss of sensation and movement below the point of injury.

Whilst the most common cause of spinal cord injury (SCI) is often trauma, it can also arise as a result of an infection, inflammation or disease.  As with any neurological condition, SCI is unique to each person and the way that it affects you in terms of signs and symptoms will differ in location, type and severity.  Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete, depending on the extent of the damage to the cord.

Spinal Cord Injury

How can we help?

Access to Rehab will be able to provide an initial assessment to quickly establish your main areas of difficulty or concern and together identify a specific treatment plan to meet your needs.  Specialist knowledge in postural management, spasticity management, gait re-education and upper limb rehabilitation will all be drawn upon to enable you to access such expertise in the comfort of your own home or placement.  We can join you at whatever stage you may be at following your injury to create a bespoke plan of intervention and support you to regain a greater sense of control and independence.

Types of Spinal Cord injuries

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

An incomplete tear or lesion which results in partial damage to the spinal cord, with some degree of sparing of S4-5, the lowest neurological levels. This will result in varying levels of weakness and altered sensation below the level of the injury. One side of the body can be more affected than the other and there may be different symptoms on either side. Incomplete spinal cord injuries differ greatly between individuals depending on the damage to the nerve fibres.

Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

Damage to the spinal cord that causes complete and usually permanent loss of function below the level of the injury including the lowest neurological levels of S4-5

Changes to your sensation, power and movement may be your main concern however issues relating to postural management, pain, continence and relationships may also be of extreme importance.