What’s the Difference Between a Spinal Injury and a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal injury and spinal cord injury are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different types of injuries.

To understand the severities, it’s crucial to know the difference between spinal injury and spinal cord injury. Click to read more.

Understanding the difference between the two is crucial, especially if you are or know someone who has been affected by such an injury.

In this article, we uncover the differences between the two and what they might entail.

Spinal injury

A spinal injury refers to any type of injury that affects the spine, including the bones, discs, ligaments and muscles. A spinal injury can be caused by a variety of factors, such as accidents, sports injuries, falls at height and more.

Common types of spinal injuries range from dislocations, sprains and fractures. Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but can often include pain, tingling, muscle weakness and numbness. While not as common as a spinal cord injury, a spinal injury can also cause paralysis, leading to the loss of movement and feeling in one or more parts of the body.

Treatment can include physical therapy, pain management and, in severe cases, surgery. Specific treatments are suggested to help the individual regain as much function and mobility as possible, live independently and manage any discomfort or pain they might experience.

Spinal cord injury

A spinal cord injury is a more specific injury that affects the spinal cord, the main pathway for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. It can be caused by numerous factors, similar to spinal injury such as accidents, falls or falls from height, sports injuries and more – resulting in loss of movement and feeling in one or more parts of the body.

Symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury. These include

  • Paralysis
  • Loss of sensation
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle spasms and spasticity
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

Treatment typically includes a combination of physical therapy, rehabilitation and pain management. In severe cases, surgery may be required to stabilise the spinal cord to prevent further damage. The goal of treatment is to help an individual regain as much function and mobility as possible to live an independent and happy life.

Understanding the differences

While both spinal injuries and spinal cord injuries can cause life-altering changes, it is important to understand the differences between these two types of injuries.

Whether you have been affected personally or dealing with family members who are experiencing injury or working with caretakers, having an understanding of the differences can help you realise the impact of the injury and the best course of action for treatment and recovery.

At Aspire Law, we work hard to ensure that our clients receive the best possible compensation for their claims, to afford everything they need from rehabilitation to individual treatments. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can support you.