Today (18 May 2018) is the Spinal Injuries Association’s annual Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day. The day is about promoting awareness of spinal cord injury (SCI) and its effects upon people who suffer from one as well as the effects upon their friends and family members.

An injury to someone’s spinal cord can be caused by trauma such as a fall, an accident at work, a Road traffic accident, an assault or an injury while playing sports.

An injury to someone’s spinal cord can also be caused by non-traumatic means such as a disease like polio, spina bifida or cauda equina (a rare disorder where the nerves in the spinal cord at the lower back are compressed by the spine itself).

Damage to an individual’s spinal cord can often result in life changing problems ranging from total paralysis of the upper and/or lower limbs, loss of feeling in your legs, problems with using your bladder/bowel and loss of sexual function.

People who are unfortunate enough to suffer damage to their spinal cord often find that the emotional and psychological problems which they are left with after their injury is as difficult to cope with as the physical limitations which they are left with. Life changing injuries often leave people with a loss of self-worth, low mood and depression, anxiety, and anger issues. People struggle to cope with their change in circumstances and it often has a huge effect upon those closest to the individual. Family and friends find that their relationship changes with the injured person, often they bear the brunt of the injured person’s frustrations and low mood and also, their relationship changes to becoming a carer which people find difficult to come to terms with.

Frequently, those who have had the serious injury as a result of someone else’s negligence – such as in a road traffic accident, accident at work or a fall are able to access better treatment and rehab facilities than people who suffer their injury through no one else’s fault when playing sports or through a naturally occurring condition. The reason for that is that there will then be an Insurer to pay to establish a comprehensive rehabilitation system and support network involving physiotherapists, occupational therapists and professional carers as well as treatment both for the physical and the mental effects.

Those who are not so fortunate as to be able to call on privately funded treatment instead often rely on the goodwill of friends and family and the stretched resources of the National Health Service. There are many people within the NHS during extraordinary work to assist those with spinal cord injuries rehabilitate and recover from their injury, but resources are scarce and fundraising for organisations such as the Spinal Injuries Association who offer additional support and assistance for victims of injuries to their spinal cord becomes ever more important as resources are more or limited.

If you had a spare few minutes why not visit the Spinal Injuries Association website to see what you could do to help whether its time or financial assistance.

Here at Farleys we have a team of personal injury specialists who work with people who have suffered spinal injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence to claim compensation which can help fund treatment and rehabilitation as well as longer term solutions such as adaptations to the home. To speak to a personal injury specialist please call 0845 287 0939 or email us through our online contact form.