About spinal cord injury

The spinal cord communicates two-way messages to and from the brain and skin, muscle and organs of your body. When your spinal cord is damaged it interrupts the flow of messages, leading to the loss of movement and/or sensation in different parts of the body. The extent of this depends on where the spinal cord has been damaged in relation to the vertebrae of the back (see the diagram below) and to the level of injury, known as 
complete or incomplete.

Aside from the physical impact, spinal cord injury can have a significant psychological impact on the person with the injury and their family. Depression and anxiety are not uncommon in those affected by spinal cord injury with many.people feeling that the things most important to them in life may never be the same.

spinal diagram


  • There are an estimated 40,000 people in the UK living with a spinal cord injury
  • Every eight hours, someone’s life will change forever in the UK because of being spinal cord injured
  • Spinal cord injury affects people of all ages and backgrounds; it can happen to anyone at any time


Spinal cord injuries are most commonly caused by road traffic accidents, falls, illness or sporting accidents. A spinal cord injury is permanent.

At Back Up we understand that a spinal cord injury can be devastating, but believe that it should not prevent anyone from getting the most out of life. 

Take a look here at the many ways we might be able to help you.