Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month: SCI Facts

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While September and Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month might be almost over, we want to share our images on facts about life with a spinal cord injury. Please share for spinal cord injury awareness!

1. A complete spinal cord injury means you have no feeling or motor function below the affected area of your spinal cord injury. For those with an incomplete injury, some sensation and movement can be present below the affected area of the injury.
2. The most common cause of death for people with spinal cord injuries is respiratory failure, which is why people with paralysis need be careful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. It is possible for many people to maintain their benefits and still work after their spinal cord injury. There are several government programs to help people become independent, such as the Ticket to Work program.
4. About half of people with spinal cord injuries are on Medicaid or medical assistance to pay for most of their medical needs. 47% of people are covered by private health insurance at the time of their injury, however many health insurance plans do not cover many spinal cord injury-related expenses.
5. Many people with spinal cord injuries have difficulty finding employment. 77% of people with spinal cord injuries, 10 years after their injury remain unemployed.
6. Many people continue their physical therapy by enrolling in activity-based therapy or some other kind of spinal cord injury gym in their area. Many people report activity-based therapy helping them become stronger and regain more mobility.
7. Before WWII, most people with spinal cord injuries did not survive longer than two years because of a lack of antibiotics. With the discovery of penicillin after the war, most people with spinal cord injuries now live average life spans.
8. Dr. Wise Young is considered the grandfather of spinal cord injury research. While he began his research in the 1980s, it wasn’t until Christopher Reeve was injured and they became friends, that he became world renowned.
9. Men are more likely to sustain a spinal cord injury. 78% are male, while 22% are female.
10. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries at 39.3%, followed by falls at 31.8%, acts of violence at 13.5%, sports at 8%, medical and surgical mistakes at 4.3% and other cause by 3.1%.
11. Most women with spinal cord injuries can have babies naturally, and the body can naturally push out the baby even in a mother with paralysis. However, most mothers with paralysis choose a C-Section so they do not have to rush to the hospital.
12. Outside the United States, quadriplegics with arm function are typically referred to as tetraplegics, however in the United States, most people with any level of injury in the cervical area will reference themselves as a quadriplegic.
13. Did you know that WWII veterans with spinal cord injuries created wheelchair basketball? They created the sport and began an adaptive sports movement.

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Spinal Cord Injury
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