What is spinal cord injury?

There are an estimated 40,000 people in the UK living with a spinal cord injury and each year over 1,000 people are newly injured.

"Spinal Injuries are often the most complex to deal with. It can include loss of muscle function, sensation or autonomic function of parts of the body below the level of the injury."

Your spinal cord

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and other tissue which extends from the brain’s base at the top of your neck down the length of your back. It’s protected by the bones (or vertebrae) that make up the spine, and by spinal fluid.

Your brain and spinal cord are vital for controlling your bodily functions. The spinal cord is responsible for communicating two-way messages to and from the brain to all parts of the body – your muscles, organs and your skin. We are able to feel pain and move our arms or legs because of these messages or impulses.

If the spinal cord is damaged or injured, some of the messages or impulses may be ‘interrupted’. This can lead to partial or total loss of feeling or movement in parts of your body – including your limbs and your internal organs.

Most injuries cause loss of movement and feeling in the parts of the body below the level of the injury. If you damage or break your spinal cord close to your neck, this will cause paralysis in a larger part of the body than damage to your spinal cord lower down your back. As well as the physical impact of a spinal cord injury, there are also emotional and psychological effects on the person concerned – and their family.

Spinal Injury, Spinal Cord Injury

Cervical vertebrae

  • C1-3 Limited head control
  • C4 Breathing and shoulders shrug
  • C5 Lift arm with shoulder, elbow flex
  • C6 Elbow flex and wrist extension
  • C8 Finger flexion

Thoracic vertebrae

  • T1 Finger movement
  • T2-T12 Deep breaths, deep breathing
  • T6-L1 Deep exhale of breath, stability while sitting

Lumbar vertebrae

  • L1-L2 Hip flexion
  • L2-L3 Hip movement toward middle of body
  • L3-L4 Knee extension
  • L4-L5 Ankle extension
  • L5 Extension of big toe

Sacral vertebrae

  • S1 Movement of foot and ankle
  • S1-S2 Toe movement
  • S2-S4 Function of bladder and bowel


Contact us today to discuss how we can support someone with a spinal injury. We are able to offer our services to both children and adults with our homecare services. Click here to learn more.

inquiry@clcacompanyltd.co.uk | 01743 460957



Credit: Back Up Trust