If you are like most people, you have heard references to the spinal cord, but you may not fully know what it is or what an injury to the spinal cord entails. Contrary to its name, the spinal cord is not just one cord or item but actually a compilation of nerves that are nestled in and protected by the vertebrae in your spine. These nerves serve as the transmission pathway for messages to and from the brain and the rest of the body. Needless to say, the spinal cord is extremely important.

As explained by WebMD, the spinal cord may be injured either by a direct impact to the cord or in a secondary fashion if the surrounding vertebrae bones, muscles or blood vessels are damaged in some way. A fall or serious impact such as in a motor vehicle accident may result in a spinal cord injury. An injury may occur at any point along the cord from the top of the vertebrae to the bottom.

From the point of injury down, a person with a spinal cord injury may experience reduced movement or feeling or they may experience complete paralysis. If the person retains some ability to move or feel, the injury is said to be incomplete. If no movement or feeling is retained, the injury is said to be complete.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people an overview of what the spinal cord is, what may cause a spinal cord injury and what happens after the spinal cord is damaged or injured.