Spinal cord injuries can be life-changing. Not only is a person physically impacted by spinal cord injuries, but their overall quality of life and emotional state can be direly affected as well.
There are different levels of severity when it comes to spinal cord injuries, which range in level of impact from mobility issues to complete paralyzation. Essentially, the two larger categories of spinal cord injury are incomplete spinal cord injury and complete spinal cord injury.
Incomplete spinal cord injury refers to when a person still has feeling and some function in the areas beneath their spinal cord injury. This means that the spinal cord is still functioning to a degree that it can send receptors to the brain. This can also be understood as partial paralysis.
Complete spinal cord injury refers to when a person no longer has feeling and cannot function the areas beneath their injury site. This means that the spinal cord is no longer functioning at a capacity to which it can send receptors to the brain. This can also be understood as complete paralysis.
Whether the spinal cord injury is incomplete or complete, one thing for certain is that with these physical changes, comes an emotional and mental health impact. Victims of spinal cord injuries often feel out of control and mourn losing the more mobile life they once had.
These are some common ways that spinal cord injury victims are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally:
- loss of mobility, which can lead to greater dependency on others to conduct day-to-day activities
- feelings of sadness or depression, as they are processing the drastic changes in their life
- Restlessness and soreness from decreased mobility and movement