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It is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day on Friday, 19 May. The annual event aims to increase  understanding of injuries to the spinal cord and their effects, and sees organisations such as SIA working with spinal cord injury charities to raise awareness.

The spinal cord is the body’s information superhighway, which communicates between the brain and the rest of the body.  After an injury, people can lose sensory information and muscle control.  The bony vertebrae compress or bruise the cord, causing death of cells, which then release toxic chemicals that can damage healthy cells and cause them to die.

Spinal cord injury affects everyday living in a wide variety of ways, such as touch, grip, temperature, breathing, bladder control, swallowing, speech, blood pressure and sexual function.

The most common causes of spinal injury are falls, road traffic accidents and sports injuries. More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury – three people every day are told they will never walk again.

Around 50,000 people in the UK live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and the members of society most at risk are men aged 20-29 and 70+, and women aged 15-19 and 60+.

For more information about any of the issues raised in this article or for more information about making a claim for a spinal cord injury, contact Lyons Davidson’s Catastrophic Injury team by contacting Sue Wicks by email at [email protected] or calling 0117 904 7746.