National Spinal Cord Injury Month - San Diego Resources

Elizabeth Stump
, San Diego Health News Examiner
August 31, 2011 - Like this? Subscribe to get instant updates.

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. It is a means to educate the public about spinal cord injury (SCI), encourage medical research, and honor Americans living with SCI.

The spinal cord transmits information between the brain and the nerves that lead to skin and underlying muscle, internal organs, and glands. When the spinal cord is injured (often SCI begins with a sudden and traumatic blow to the spine), the information pathway is disrupted. This in turn reduces or prevents movement, function, and sensation in the body. While some injuries will allow almost complete recovery, others will result in paralysis, depending on the location and extent of the injury, according to the NIH. Paraplegia is paralysis of the lower part of the body (occurring from injury to the lower part of the spinal cord), while quadriplegia is paralysis of the upper and lower body and arms (resulting from injury to the upper part of the spinal cord).