Sustaining a spinal cord injury may be one of the most unexpected events that could happen to you or a family member. No one dreams it will happen to them.
A spinal cord injury is the term used to describe damage to the spinal cord. Damage is usually caused by a traumatic event involving the spine, such as a fall, accident, or penetrating wound. But it may also be caused by other problems, such as a growth or tumor in the spine. In any case, the problem has affected how the spinal cord transmits messages between your brain and the rest of your body.
No. In fact, each spinal cord injury is different. The effects of the injury depend on the location or level within the spine and the severity of the damage to the spine and surrounding vertebrae ( your back bones).
The level of the injury determines the type of function which may be affected. There are four main sections to your spine. They are:
Damage to any of these sections of your spine can affect the functioning of everything around and below that section.
Some injuries are also considered complete or incomplete. Complete injuries are those in which there is no voluntary movement or feeling below the level of the injury. Incomplete injuries are those in which there may be some feeling or volitional movement below the injury. Incomplete injuries indicate there may have been only limited damage to the spinal cord.
The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at MultiCare inpatient rehabilitation programs feature a full continuum of care that includes inpatient, outpatient, and clinic services. We provide intensive, comprehensive, multidisciplinary rehabilitation for patients who have experienced a spinal cord injury. Our therapists possess numerous years of experience and training specific to stroke rehabilitation.
Our ultimate goal is to assist the person with the spinal cord injury – and their family – adapt to the injury and safely reach the highest level of independence possible. In many cases, these goals include ways to enhance family relationships, resume parenting duties as well as return successfully to a healthy, productive lifestyle, such as to work, school and your favorite recreational activities.