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September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

Photo of persons using wheelchairs.

Above: Persons using wheelchairs in a gym.

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

The month of September was designated by the U.S. Senate as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Senate Resolution 533 was passed by the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Did you know…

  • Every 48 minutes someone in the U.S. is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury.
  • An estimated 1,275,000 individuals in the United States live with a spinal cord injury and millions of people worldwide are living with paralysis. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for spinal cord injuries.
  • An estimated 100,000 of those individuals living with a spinal cord injury are veterans who suffered the injury while serving as members of the United States Armed Forces.

A spinal cord injury results from damage to the spinal cord that prevents communication from the brain to the body. A spinal cord injury affects a person’s sensory, motor and reflex skills, as the brain’s messages cannot get past the damage in the spinal cord. Injuries can be complete or incomplete, depending on whether any movement occurs at or below the level of the injury; the higher on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more dysfunction the person will experience.

The senate resolution noted increased education and investment in research are key factors to improving outcomes for victims of spinal cord injuries, improving the quality of life of victims, and ultimately curing paralysis. In addition, it served to highlight advances in spinal cord injury research and honor those living with such an injuries. To read the resolution, visit GovTrack.