A spinal cord injury, also called an SCI, is damage to the spinal cord that results in sudden decrease in movement. The spinal cord is a soft bundle of nerves that goes from the base of the brain to the lower back. It runs through the spinal canal, a tunnel formed by openings in the bones of the spine. The bony spine helps protect the spinal cord.
The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. This allows you to move and to feel touch, among other things. Injury to the spinal cord stops the flow of messages below the site of the injury.
The closer the injury is to the brain, the more of the body that is affected.
- Injury to the middle of the back usually affects the legs. This is called paraplegia.
- Injury to the neck can affect the arms, chest and legs. This is called quadriplegia.
A spinal cord injury may be complete or incomplete. A person with a complete injury doesn't have any feeling or movement below the level of the injury. In an incomplete injury, the person still has some feeling or movement in the affected area.
If you have questions about your neurological health or need expert care for a spinal cord injury, the Parkview neuroscience team can help. Ask your primary care physician if a referral would be appropriate for you.
For more information, call 260-217-4379.