An introduction to spinal injury

As well as brain injury and other types of injury, AJ Case Management have extensive experience of working with many people suffering from different types of spinal injury. Often with unique and differing symptoms.

Anyone can be affected by a spinal injury, at any time. And at AJCM we see it as our role to help you overcome your injuries in the best way possible – for you.

Helping you and your loved ones reach for the sky

Believing that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve the best quality of life  possible, is just one of our 5 core values in helping you reach the potential you deserve.

Needs assessment skills, goal setting and risk assessing are just a few of our strengths when working with our clients, from both a therapeutic or clinical perspective.

Many of our team members are most experienced in working with Spinal Injury and are Occupational Therapists registered with the Health and Care professional council.


Are you looking to reach your goals with a case manager?

Get in touch with us to discuss the amazing possibilities we want to provide to you by completing the contact form at the top of the page. Alternatively, keep reading to find out more about injury types and common symptoms.


The two types of spinal cord injury


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is split into two types of injury:

  1. Complete injury – This means that there is no function below the level of the injury and both sides of the body are affected equally.
  2. Incomplete injury – This allows some function below the injury and different parts of the body may be able to function better or have more feeling than other parts.


Excellent progress is being made in the treatment of SCI and incomplete injuries hold the majority of injuries over complete.

The most common kinds of incomplete injuries include:


  1. Brown-Sequard Syndrome – This is where one side (either left or right) of the spinal cord is injured but one side remains undamaged.
  2. Central Cord Syndrome – This occurs when the middle of the spinal cord has been injured.
  3. Anterior Cord Syndrome – This can occur when blood flow to the brain has been disrupted. This can affect muscle tissue, but usually sensation is retained after this kind of injury.


Have a read this article to find out more about the types of spinal cord injury

Common symptoms of a spinal cord injury


The symptoms of SCI are incredibly varied and should not be used to self-diagnose injuries.

Every injury is different, and the symptoms and recovery journey will not be the same for any two people.

Here is a brief list of possible SCI symptoms:

  • Loss of movement
  • Difficulty in breathing or a change in breathing pattern
  • Headaches
  • Loss of sensation
  • Nerve pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Difficulty with balance or walking

More information can be found here on the symptoms and causes


Spinal cord injury rehabilitation – how SCI can be treated


Spinal injuries can be incredibly complicated and there is no one recovery journey that is suited to everyone.

If you suspect a SCI but have not yet been diagnosed, remain still, it’s recommended to avoid moving your back and seek medical care immediately.

Once you have a diagnosis, here are some of the treatments you may experience:

  1. Aiding breathing through the use of a ventilator.
  2. Stabilisation of the spine – this can vary from a neck collar to surgery.
  3. Education on your injury and the effects of it.
  4. Physiotherapy to strengthen muscles and improve motor skills.
  5. Counselling to discuss your struggles and how you can overcome them.
  6. Lifestyle training to help you adjust to new changes.


A little more info about the spinal cord structure


The spinal cord is split into five main sections:

  1. The cervical – This area supports the head and is the connection to the brain.
  2. The thoracic – This is the largest area of the spinal cord which covers the middle of the back.
  3. The lumbar – This covers the lower portion of your back and is where the spinal cord begins to bend.
  4. The sacral – This is the triangle shaped part of the spinal cord located on the lower back.
  5. The coccygeal – Also known as the coccyx or tailbone, it is where your spinal cord ends.


A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a specific name used for head injuries sustained as a result of a traumatic event such as a car accident, sporting accident or assault.

The TBI can range from a mild concussion to a severe traumatic brain injury.

Read more on Brain Injury

AJ Case Management provide services to clients and their families who have suffered life changing accidents, which have left them with physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes.

Read more on Complex Orthopaedic Injury

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