A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord that causes temporary or permanent changes such as loss of muscle function or sensation. Injuries can occur at any level of the spinal cord and are classified as a complete injury (total loss of sensation and muscle function) or incomplete (some nervous signals are able to travel past the injured area of the cord).
The spinal cord and the brain together make up the central nervous system. The spinal cord coordinates the body's movement and sensation; an injured cord loses the ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body's systems that control sensory, motor, and autonomic function below the level of injury. Often, this results in some level of paralysis.
A common misconception is a spinal cord injury means the spinal cord is severed causing loss of function. In fact, most people who have sustained a SCI, the spinal cord is bruised and intact. Depending on the location and severity of damage along the spinal cord, the symptoms can vary widely, from pain or numbness to paralysis to incontinence. The prognosis also ranges widely, from full recovery in rare cases, to permanent quadriplegia in injuries at the level of the neck and paraplegia in lower injuries.
(Sources: Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation; Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library)
Angel City Sports offers a wide range of sports for people with a spinal cord injury. From wheelchair sports like tennis, basketball and racing, to swimming, archery, rowing and kayaking - there is no limit to what sports you CAN do even with an SCI! Please join the movement and support our Fall Fundraising Drive by making a DONATION at http://bit.ly/AngelCitySports2017
Great local resources include:
- United Spinal of Greater Los Angeles
- Rancho Los Amigos
- Casa Colina
- Triumph Foundation
- Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital
- Long Beach Memorial Rehabilitation Center
- Northridge Hospital Medical Center