Spinal Injury is a term used to describe injury to the spinal cord. The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain to the lower back. Injury can occur anywhere along the length of the spinal column, either the neck, mid back or lower back.The most common cause is due to trauma e.g. sports injury, blunt force, but other non traumatic causes such as infection, inflammation or tumour can also affect spinal cord tissue. The extent of symptoms will depend largely on the site of injury, the type and severity of injury. Symptoms will therefore vary for each individual.
Spinal cord injuries are classified into complete or incomplete.
Incomplete spinal cord injury refers to the preservation of some sensation or movement below the level of injury.
Complete spinal cord injury refers to complete loss of movement / sensation below the level of injury.
It is importance to classifying an injury into the above categories because sparing of movement or feeling below the level of injury may provide important functional benefits to the person.