When someone has a spinal cord injury, it can change how they move. The spinal cord is like a highway for messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and interrupting that highway can lead to irreversible differences in physical abilities.
If something happens to it, like an injury, it may seriously affect the way a person gets around in their everyday life.
Lack of normality
Right after a spinal cord injury, a person’s personal life may suddenly seem totally different. Someone’s ability to walk and be part of regular social events changes. Some people might only have trouble moving some parts of their body, while others might not be able to move their arms or legs at all.
Additional necessary tools
After a spinal cord injury, people have to get used to a new way of doing things. Wheelchairs, canes and crutches become important tools for navigating the world. Learning to maneuver these devices requires patience and perseverance, as individuals strive to regain a sense of control over their movements.
Less accessibility in public
The world is often made for people who can move easily. But for those with spinal cord injuries, it can be tough. Inaccessible buildings, lack of ramps and limited accommodations make navigating public spaces a tough task. This lack of access makes going out in public a big challenge.
Support networks, including family, friends and mental health professionals, play a huge role in helping individuals navigate the psychological landscape of adapting to life with a spinal cord injury. An estimated 294,000 Americans currently have spinal cord injuries. As people learn more about these injuries, it is important to make sure that everyone, no matter their movement challenges, can be a part of the world around them.