A quick guide to the different levels of spinal cord injury

Did you know that almost 300,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury in the United States every year? More than just a throw from the back, spinal cord injury is a serious, high-risk injury that can lead to paralysis and death.

It can also take a long time to recover, even with dedicated therapy. Understanding the different levels of spinal cord injury is the first step to recovery and is an important part of finding a treatment.

If you want to learn more about the types of spinal cord injury, read on for our brief but comprehensive guide.

Injury at the top of the cervix

Injury at the top of the cervix

The highest level of spinal cord injury is the most dangerous. These injuries occur in the top four vertebrae of the spine, so in your neck just below the skull.

This level of injury often results in paralysis of the arms and legs. In addition, the patient may find it difficult to breathe on their own. They may have trouble controlling their bowels and are sometimes unable to speak.

They often require round-the-clock care.

Lower cervical lesion

The next level of injury is at the base of the neck. This area can lead to difficulty with motor control and paralysis of the arms and trunk.

Depending on the specific nerve affected, the wrist, elbow, fingers, and hands can be affected. Driving will be difficult but can be managed with a suitable vehicle. The patient can also perform most daily activities.

chest injury

Your thoracic spine is your middle back, around your shoulders. Usually the functions of the arms and hands are not affected. This sometimes results in paralysis of the legs and paralysis of the trunk.

Patients can usually manage most daily tasks with help and specialized equipment. For example, they can drive with a modified car and stand with a frame. They might also be able to walk with braces.

Lumbar injury

Your lumbar spine is located in your lower back, in your belly area. Injuries in the lumbar region usually result in loss of function in the legs and lower trunk. However, paralysis is not common, and with increased strength the patient can walk again.

sacred wound

Sacrum injuries occur in the hips and usually result in some loss of function in the hips. Usually the patient can walk again.

Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Regardless of the injury, prompt and consistent treatment is essential. For all classifications of spinal cord injury, rehabilitation is important to regain normal function. The process is frustrating, but yields some of the best results for spinal cord injuries.

When rehabilitating a spinal cord injury , you will work with a physical therapist to strengthen the affected muscles and the muscles needed to perform modified daily tasks. Through rehabilitation, patients can get rid of ventilators and experience reduced pain and greater independence.

You now understand the levels of spinal cord injury

This article will have given you a good starting point to understand the different levels of spinal cord injury. Although this type of injury is very serious, it is not hopeless. Rehabilitation and appropriate treatment provide support and the best possible outcome for each patient.

If you've suffered a spinal cord injury, it's worth going to a rehabilitation clinic to explore your options.

If you've learned anything about the different levels of spinal cord injury, you'll enjoy our other content! Check out our blog for more!