Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

What is a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord, which is responsible for carrying messages between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord is a complex bundle of nerve fibres which travels from the brain to the lower part of the spine.

Any damage to the spinal cord can alter how these important messages are delivered to the rest of the body, affecting the sensation and movement below the injury level.

Spinal cord injury can occur during a traumatic event such as a fall or a motor vehicle accident or be caused by a disease such as spinal infections, disc prolapses and spinal tumours.

Type of injury

The effects of any damage to the spinal cord will depend on the severity and level of injury. Health professionals will typically describe two types of injury which include:

  • Complete spinal cord injury – Refers to complete loss of sensory and motor function below the level of injury.
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury – Refers to a partial loss of function below the level of injury.

Level of injury

Depending on where the injury takes place can dramatically affect the level of impairment an individual will experience.

  • Injuries to the neck and upper back will usually affect the arms and legs, which is known as tetraplegia
  • Injuries to the middle or lower back will affect the chest and legs only, which is known as paraplegia

Effects of spinal cord injury

Due to the complex nature of the spinal cord, the effect of a particular injury will vary from person to person even if their injury is at the same level. Common issues we see among our spinal injury patients are:

  • Muscle weakness – This can vary from mild weakness to complete loss of strength
  • Altered sensation – Areas of the body may feel numb or feel more or less sensitive than normal
  • Changes in muscle tone – Muscles may become spastic and tight or flaccid and floppy
  • Pain – Neuropathic pain can cause burning sensations or pins and needles
  • Changes in bladder and bowel function
  • Loss of sexual function
  • Breathing difficulties

Recovery following spinal cord injury

For many, the journey of recovery following the initial injury can take make years of rehabilitation and hard work. Each individual will have different levels of potential for future recovery depending on the severity of their injury.

Initial treatment and rehabilitation will usually take place in a specialist spinal injury unit for many months before returning home. We see many of our patients continuing to make progress with the help of specialist neuro physiotherapy input even years after their initial injury.

How Burscough Neuro Physiotherapy can help you

At Burscough Neuro Physiotherapy our specialist neuro physiotherapists work with all types of patients at different stages of recovery to help maximise their potential. We provide hands-on treatment, support and advice aiming to help people become as functionally independent as possible, whilst living with the effects of a spinal injury.

We are able to provide treatments at our fully equipped rehabilitation centre in Ormskirk with accessible parking and toilet facilities. We also provide neuro physiotherapy home visits. Providing neuro physiotherapy across the north west of England including Liverpool, Southport, St Helens and Ormskirk.

Burscough Neuro Physiotherapy is committed to making specialist neuro physiotherapy affordable for all. Our initial assessment is just £98 at our rehabilitation centre in Ormskirk or £115 at home. Follow-up treatments are £64 per 45 minutes at the centre or £75 at home. We do not charge for mileage for our home visit treatments.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury and want to explore how neuro physiotherapy can help you make further progress then please get in touch.

Check out the Spinal Injury Association website for further support.

For all enquiries please call our friendly reception team on 01695 574317 or

make an Online Enquiry here