How spinal cord injury affects you

Spinal cord injury affects people both physically and emotionally and most people will experience some of the following, partially or completely:

  • Loss of movement in the legs, affecting your ability to walk
  • Possible loss of movement in the chest, trunk, hands or arms
  • Loss of feeling in parts of the body
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Pain or stinging sensations, spasms
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility.

Depression and anxiety are not uncommon in those affected by spinal cord injury – both the individuals and their families – with many people feeling that the things most important to them in life may never be the same.

How you are physically and emotionally affected by spinal cord injury depends on a range of factors:

  • The level of the spinal cord injury, whether it is complete or incomplete i.e. whether you experience total or partial paralysis below the level of your injury
  • Which part of your spinal cord is damaged
  • Your age – older people affected by spinal cord injury may face particular challenges
  • The cause of injury
  • Your situation at the time of your injury – whether you were working, studying etc
  • Your access to specialist rehabilitation after your injury
  • Your family and social network.

Back Up understands that a spinal cord injury is devastating but we believe it shouldn’t prevent you from getting the most out of life. We have a range of services that can help both you and your family make a positive start to life post injury.

You can also visit our blog to read stories from people with a spinal cord injury and their families about independence, travel, relationships and other topics that may be of interest.

Register for our services


If you or a family member have questions about life with a spinal cord injury, call the team on 020 8875 1805 or register your interest in our services online.

Want to learn more about the services we offer? Please click here to read our most up to date services brochure.