What is a spinal cord injury?

What is a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that causes a temporary or permanent change in function.

In most cases, paralysis is caused by acute damage to the spinal cord following a traumatic injury. Nerve fibres are disrupted and nerve cells at, and around, the site of injury are destroyed.

An injury of the spinal cord not only impacts the ability to move your limbs; the damage also causes a large number of secondary health complications.

More than being paralysed

Living with a spinal cord injury is much more than being paralysed

People with spinal cord injury face many challenging secondary health complications that diminish quality of life and capacity for independence.

Secondary health implications may include:

  • Loss of control of bladder and bowel function
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Dysfunctional blood pressure
  • Sexual Health complications
  • Lung problems
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Psychological challenges, and vocation
  • Loss of deep sensation necessary to prevent pressure sores

Social marginalisation may include:

  • Inaccessible public spaces, housing, and workplaces
  • Social and cultural barriers which limit opportunities for community participation on an equal basis with other citizens
Lady in wheelchair talking to boy

Clinical Trials

If you have a spinal cord injury there may be clinical trials that you can participate in.
To find out more about clinical trials, visit these websites.

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