There are two types of spinal cord injury:
- Complete injury means there is no function below the level of the injury and both sides of the body are equally affected.
- Incomplete injury means that there is some function below the level of the injury—movement in one limb more than the other, feeling in parts of the body, or more function on one side of the body than the other.
What causes spinal cord injury?
Any condition or event that puts the spine at risk can be the cause of a spinal cord injury. Most commonly it happens as the result of an accident that bends or twists the neck or spine, and that can happen from:
- Birth injuries, which usually affect the spinal cord in the neck area
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Diving accidents
- Trampoline accidents
- Violence, including penetrating injuries such as gunshots and stab wounds