Spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when a traumatic event results in damage to cells within the spinal cord or severs the nerve tracts that relay signals up and down the spinal cord. The most common types of SCI include contusion (bruising of the spinal cord) and compression (caused by pressure on the spinal cord). Other types of injuries include lacerations (severing or tearing of some nerve fibers, such as damage caused by a gun shot wound), and central cord syndrome (specific damage to the corticospinal tracts of the cervical region of the spinal cord). Severe SCI often causes paralysis (loss of control over voluntary movement and muscles of the body) and loss of sensation and reflex function below the point of injury, including autonomic activity such as breathing and other activities such as bowel and bladder control. Other symptoms such as pain or sensitivity to stimuli, muscle spasms, and sexual dysfunction may develop over time.

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Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

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Signs and symptoms
... The signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury depend on two factors: The location of the injury. In general, injuries that are higher in the spinal cord produce more paralysis. For example, a spinal ...
Source: MayoClinic

Causes
... Together, your spinal cord and your brain make up your central nervous system, which controls most of the functions of your body. Your spinal cord runs approximately 15 to 17 inches from the base of y...
Source: MayoClinic

Spinal Cord Injury Prevention

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Prevention
... Following this advice may reduce your risk of a spinal cord injury: Drive safely. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Wear a seat belt every time you drive. Make sur...
Source: MayoClinic

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

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Complications
... If you recently experienced a spinal cord injury, it might seem like every aspect of life just became a lot more complicated. After all, adapting to life with a disability — often in a wheelchai...
Source: MayoClinic

Treatment
... Fifty years ago, a spinal cord injury was usually fatal. At that time, most injuries were severe, complete injuries and little treatment was available. Today, there''s still no way to reverse damage t...
Source: MayoClinic

Spinal Cord Injury Support

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Coping skills
... An accident that results in paralysis is a life-changing event, whether you''ve lost movement in your legs and lower body or all four extremities. Recovery from such an event takes time, but many peop...
Source: MayoClinic

Spinal Cord Injury Other

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The Spinal Cord and Injury
... The nervous system is divided into two major divisions: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is a network of nerves throughout the body, handling...
Source: Cleveland Clinic

Spinal Cord Injury Overview
... What is spinal cord injury? Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord as a result of a direct trauma to the spinal cord itself or as a result of indirect damage to the bones and soft tissues and...
Source: Cleveland Clinic

   

Spinal Cord Injury Articles

  • Spinal Cord Injury Information Page
    ... Spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when a traumatic event results in damage to cells within the spinal cord or severs the nerve tracts that relay signals up and down the spinal cord. The most common type...

Resources

  • (National Women's Health Information Center, OWH, HHS)
  • Autonomic Hyperreflexia (Center for Research on Women with Disabilities)