What is a spinal cord injury and what treatments are available?

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Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury, or SCI, happens when there is damage to either the vertebrae or the spinal cord itself. The vertebrae are the bones making up your back, and which protect the soft spinal cord inside. Messages from your brain pass down the spinal cord to the nerves which take the signal to your muscles, to tell them to work. Messages also pass from the skin to the brain, vis the spinal cord, so that you whether something is hot, cold, furry, sharp or smooth. If the spinal cord is damaged, then the messages can not get through and you lose movement and sensation in the lower part of your body, depending on where the damage is. A SCI in your neck may mean you are unable to move or feel your arms, whereas a SCI in your lower back will only effect your lower legs.

spinal cord injuries


Physiotherapy can help to strengthen any remaining muscles, as well as preventing joints from becoming stiff. The level and degree of SCI will determine the type of physiotherapy that is most appropriate, and you will be asked for the level and whether the injury is complete or partial in order to ascertain the best treatment.