The spinal cord is made up of nerves that run through the backbone and help control the body’s muscles, enabling a person to move their body, feel pressure and control vital functions such as their breathing, bladder and bowels.
If the spinal cord is damaged, messages travelling from the brain to the rest of the body are disrupted and can result in a loss of sensation and movement from below the point of injury.
Whilst the most common cause of spinal cord injury (SCI) is often trauma, it can also arise as a result of an infection or disease.
The higher up the location of the injury in the spinal cord, the greater proportion of the body will be affected. Just as each person is unique, so too is each injury: people with SCI will often experience varying degrees sensation and loss of mobility.
SCI can be broken down into two different types of paralysis:
- Damaging the spinal cord in the mid/lower part of the back results in paraplegia.
- Paraplegia affects the movement and sensation in your legs and can also affect the muscles within the stomach.
Tetraplegia (also known as Quadraplegia)
- Damaging the spinal cord in the neck results in tetraplegia / quadraplegia.
- Tetraplegia affects movement and sensation in all four limbs, in addition to the stomach and some chest muscles.
Having a spinal injury does not mean that people cannot live in their own homes. Although there are life threatening secondary health complications which need monitoring, such as skin, bladder and bowels, with proper support clients can lead fulfilling, active and happy lives.
Eximius companions are trained in all aspects of spinal injury care, including supporting with hoisting, personal care, bowel management and Autonomic dysreflexia. We are also able to support social activities such as going to the gym or out for an evening. In fact, we help with everything to keep their lifestyle as normal as possible.