What Bodily Changes Can a Person with Spinal Cord Injury Expect After Injury?

Those with spinal cord injuries can expect to experience a variety of bodily changes after diagnosis. These changes will differ, depending on the location and severity of the injury, as well as the overall health and age of the person injured.

Some of the most common changes that a person with a spinal cord injury may experience include:


One of the most significant consequences of spinal cord injuries is paralysis. A person experiencing paralysis will lose the ability to move certain parts of their body, such as their arms, legs, or even their entire body.

The severity of the paralysis will depend on the location of the injury, with injuries higher up on the spine typically resulting in more extensive paralysis.

Loss of sensation

The spinal cord signals sensory information from the body to the brain, allowing us to feel touch, temperature, pain, and other sensations.

When the spinal cord is damaged, this information may not reach the brain, leading to a loss of sensation in the affected area. This can be particularly dangerous because it can make it difficult for a person to know if they are in danger or if they are injured.

Bladder and bowel control

The spinal cord is an essential factor in controlling the bladder and bowel. When the spinal cord is damaged, a person may lose the ability to control their bladder and bowel movements, leading to incontinence.

In some cases, this can be managed with medication, catheters, and other treatments, but in other cases, it may be permanent.

Sexual function

The spinal cord is also involved in sexual function, and a spinal cord injury can affect a person’s ability to have and maintain an erection, as well as their ability to orgasm. In some cases, these changes may be temporary, but in others, they may be permanent.


Spinal cord injuries can also cause chronic pain, particularly in the area of the injury. This pain can be managed with medication and other treatments, but it may not always be possible to eliminate it completely.


Depending on the severity of the injury, a person with a spinal cord injury may be unable to move on their own, and they may need to use a wheelchair or other assistive device to get around. This can lead to a loss of independence and a need for ongoing care and assistance.

Breathing difficulties

In some cases, a spinal cord injury can affect a person’s ability to breathe properly, particularly if the injury is high up on the spine. This can require the use of a ventilator or other medical devices to assist with breathing.

Expect a new way of life

Bodily changes can be difficult to adjust to when trying to accept your injury and a new way of life. Aspire Law can support you in receiving the right claim for your injury, ensuring you get everything you need to live as independently as possible. Get in touch with us today.