Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Spinal Injury Awareness: Breaking Down Myths and Realities

  Jan 16, 2024
Reviewed by Richa Dutta

It’s no surprise that a spinal cord injury is one of the most destructive and dangerous injuries a person can sustain. 

Around 17,700 new spinal injuries occur every year in the United States, and approximately 78% of them belong to the male population, which is considerable because the leading cause of SCIs is motor vehicle crashes. 

This backbone is a necessary part of the human body that works as a messenger between the brain and the rest of the body and vice versa. 

There have been underlying misbeliefs about such injuries that people believe to be true but are actually not. 

And I believe. It would be a wise choice to not believe the words and instead look for factual data or reach out to a professional, especially in terms of your own body. 

In this article, we are going to shed light on spinal injury awareness, breaking down some of the prevalent myths.  

Myth 1

Everyone who has suffered a spinal cord injury suffers from Total Paralysis. 

Reality: It’s an absolute and incorrect generalization that one suffering from spinal injuries suffers total paralysis. 

Though 1 out of 50 people do suffer from paralysis, it’s not always because of this breakdown. 

It varies from person to person, which can lead to either total recovery, partial paralysis, or complete paralysis, depending on the severity of the damage. 

Myth 2

Spinal Cord Injury patients won’t be able to work again.

Reality: On the contrary, a number of patients have been seen working within a year of the incident. 

However, that might not be the case with everyone, it totally depends on the intensity of the injury. But in most cases, they do work and can work after a year or so. 

However, one must make sure that he/she has fully recovered before stepping foot on the field. 

A majority of companies, too, are making office spaces for differently abled or disabled ones. 

Minor adjustments at the workplace can make way for people with disabilities to work for themselves, thereby promoting compassion and equality. 

Myth 3

Spinal Cord injury cripples the patient forever. 

Reality: Some patients do lose motor and sensory functioning after the SCIs, however few of them also recover from it. 

Contrary to this belief, it largely depends on the intensity of the injury and sometimes also on the individual’s ability to cope with it. 

Moreover, rehab centers help people with spinal injuries to learn the way of doing daily activities, which, to some extent, helps them gain their sensory functions back. 

Myth 4

Spinal Cord Injury patients cannot lead fulfilling lives

Reality: A SCI does not define a patient’s ability in any way. The world has developed quite a bit, and there’s almost nothing a person can not do. 

There have been numerous individuals with backbone injuries who went on to become successful doctors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and whatnot. 

Moreover, adaptive technologies and support systems have empowered people with spinal damage to lead happy, meaningful, and fulfilling lives. 

Statistics on Spinal Cord Injury

Myth 5

Your ability to recover depends on your age. 

Reality: As we age, our bones, muscles, and quality of health may change. Especially in old age, the quality of health deteriorates in the majority of people, which sometimes leads to irreversible damage. 

However, it largely depends on the type of injury, access to basic resources at home and hospital, and positive attitude. 

A positive attitude also has a major impact on the recovery and well-being of the patient. If you trust the myth in the back of your head and get yourself the top-tier treatment, it won’t affect you as much as it would with a positive mindset.

Myth 6

Rehabilitation ends soon after your Discharge from the hospital

Reality: No doubt, the SCI is a serious injury that may have a lasting or permanent impact on an individual’s life. 

A release from the hospital may seem like a relief,  but you will need to continue your physical therapy chiropractic adjustment or might even need to re-learn to perform your daily activities. 

A detailed diagnosis of spinal cord injury will help you determine how long you need to keep getting physical therapy so you can fully recover. 

Do You Know?
The spinal cord is about 18 inches (45 centimeters) in length and is relatively cylindrical in shape.

Myth 7

Patients with Spinal Cord Injury are helpless and pitiful.

Reality: You are as helpless as you think you are, and your disability does not define you in any way. 

With the advancement in technology, the right moral and physical support, resources, and accommodations, a patient can lead an independent life and succeed in various aspects of life. 

However, you must know that the absence of visible signs of an injury does not mean that you have recovered; it is one of the most destructive injuries one might sustain, so you should always be careful. 


Spinal injury and its types differ from person to person. It’s not that no two persons will have the same kind of damage, but their reactions and approach to the same kind make all the difference. 

People in their right mindset should not go about trusting the traditional approach towards the treatment, instead rely on facts and do as a professional says. 

Understanding the realities and not relying on myths can help promote compassion, support, and opportunities for individuals living with these kinds of injuries. 

Moreover, being aware of the facts is vital in dispelling misbeliefs, challenging stereotypes, and fostering a more inclusive and empathetic society toward individuals. It also saves you a lot of time.