World Spinal Cord Injury Day Date in the current year: September 5, 2024

World Spinal Cord Injury Day World Spinal Cord Injury Day, also known as World SCI Day, is observed annually on September 5. It was created to raise awareness of the challenges that people with spinal cord injuries face and promote a more accessible world.

The spinal cord, together with the brain, makes up the central nervous system (CNS) which coordinates and controls all body parts. This means that spinal cord injuries can cause temporary or permanent changes in the function of various body parts, including paralysis.

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is any injury resulting in damage to the spinal cord. Statistically speaking, most spinal cord injuries are traumatic, i.e. caused by physical trauma such as falls, car accidents, sports injuries, gunshot wounds, etc. However, SCI can also result from non-traumatic causes such as lack of blood flow, infection, and tumors.

Spinal cord injuries can be complete or incomplete. In a complete SCI, the body loses all function below the injured area, including sensation and movement. When an SCI is incomplete, the spinal cord is still able to transmit some nerve signals to or from the brain, and thus some sensory or motor function is preserved below the level of injury.

The symptoms of an SCI may vary depending on the severity of the injury and its location. They include numbness, tingling, changes in or loss of sensation in hands and feet, pressure or pain in the head, neck or back, weakness, loss of bowel and bladder control, difficulty breathing, problems with walking, changes in sexual function, and paralysis.

Even with the best possible treatment, spinal cord injuries usually result in at least one incurable impairment that affects quality of life. The prognosis is more optimistic for patients with incomplete injuries, who are typically able to recover at least some function. However, even in this case recovery and rehabilitation is a long process that needs to be tailored to the patient’s specific needs. Sadly, access to SCI services can be complicated due to a number of factors such as lack of healthcare resources, financial constraints, and more.

World Spinal Cord Injury Day was launched in 2016 by the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS), an international NGO based in the United Kingdom that promotes the highest standard of care in the practice of spinal cord injury for people of all ages and genders across the world. Every year, the ISCoS chooses a new theme for World SCI Day in order to focus on a specific aspect of spinal cord injury awareness and highlight the most current issues faced by SCI individuals and their families. Past themes have included “COVID-19 and SCI”, “SCI in conflict and disasters: prepare and prevent”, “Access to SCI Services; a life less complicated”, and others.

World Spinal Cord Injury Day should not be confused with Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day (SCIAD). The latter is observed in the UK every May; it is an initiative organized by the Spinal Injury Association and other charities that support patients with spinal cord injuries and their families.

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World Spinal Cord Injury Day, World SCI Day, international observances, awareness days, spinal cord injuries