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Spinal cord injury (SCI) is any damage to the spinal cord that results in temporary or permanent change in function. A spinal cord injury may cause permanent changes in your strength, ability to move, and ability to sense touch. Traumatic spinal cord injury is more common in men, with 78% of reported traumatic SCI patients being male.

Spinal cord injury may be the result of traumatic events or diseases. It may be caused by damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, disks, or direct damage to the spinal cord. The injury may worsen over time due to bleeding, swelling, or fluid accumulation around the spine.


The severity of symptoms depends on the damage caused to the spinal cord.

The following are common symptoms of spinal cord injury:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the extremities
  • Headache
  • Trouble breathing/coughing
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain

Signs of a severe spinal cord injury include:

  • Oddly positioned and twisted neck or back
  • Paralysis below the injury
  • Unconsciousness

If you are experiencing any of the severe spinal cord injury symptoms, seek medical help immediately.


The traumatic causes of spinal cord injury include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents (car and motorcycle)
  • Falls (most common in people over 60)
  • Acts of violence (stabbings or gunshot wounds)
  • Sports related injuries (especially in contact sports like football)

The disease-related causes of spinal cord injury include:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Disk degeneration

Even the common symptoms of a spinal cord injury require medical attention. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact Brain2Spine Institute and schedule an appointment. Call (727) 351-6902.

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