Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month - September 2023
September is National Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month1 and it is a great time to help spread awareness and resources about SCI, which is more common than many people think.
Approximately 18,000 Americans get spinal cord injuries each year2. According to recent estimates, there are approximately 302,000 people living with a spinal cord injury2 in the United States alone.
What Exactly is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury refers to any damage to the spinal cord, whether from trauma, disease, or a degenerative disorder. After a spinal cord injury, nerves above the level of injury keep working as they did before, but messages from the brain to the body may become fully or partially blocked below the level of injury.
People with SCI can continue to live full, productive, and rewarding lives. To do so, it’s essential that they have access to the resources they need, including spinal cord injury rehabilitation, medical care, quality jobs, education, and mental health treatment.
It is vital that we continue to have informed, resourceful, and productive conversations about how to improve policies and resources for people with disabilities. These conversations help spark ideas and increase support around the research and discovery of effective treatments and therapies to help those with spinal cord injuries, and alleviate spinal cord injury symptoms.
The History of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month
In 2014, U.S. Senate Resolution 5333 recognized the month of September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. This resolution allows the Senate to “continue to support research to find better treatments, therapies, and a cure for paralysis [as well as] support clinical trials for new therapies that offer promise and hope to those persons living with paralysis”.
Resources for People with Spinal Cord Injuries
The United Spinal Association provides a comprehensive list of resources for people with SCI4, including information about:
- Family and Personal Relationships
- SCI Directories
- Resources for Caregivers
- Financial Assistance
Ways to Raise Awareness About National Spinal Cord Injury Month
We can all do our part to help raise awareness about SCI, and it doesn’t only need to be during September! Some of the ways to help include:
- Talk About Spinal Cord Injury: Even if it isn’t feasible to raise funds or host an event, simply talking about SCI, the need for further funding for research, and the resources available to help people and their families makes a difference.
- Volunteer for a Spinal Cord Injury Organization or Charity: Local hospitals and long-term care facilities that provide care to the SCI community can benefit greatly from volunteers. Charities such as The Miami Project, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the American Spinal Injury Association, and United Spinal Association are also frequently seeking volunteers.
- Wear a Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Ribbon: The spinal cord injury ribbon color is lime green5, and wearing a vibrant green ribbon can prompt people to ask questions, enabling you to educate and share information to expand awareness of spinal cord injuries and the need for resources, research, and funding.
- Raise Funds for Research and Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Efforts: Start an online fundraiser or crowdfunding campaign for organizations like The Miami Project or the United Spinal Association. The idea of a campaign is to raise funds, but also to create more awareness about the pervasiveness of SCI as well as educate on resources that are available to help.
- Host a Community Event: There are many community events you can host to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries. Ideas include sponsoring a walk/5k or hosting an educational session at a local school or local library (virtually or in person).
- Share Your Stories: if you or a loved one have personal experience with SCI, by sharing your stories you help people understand the challenges and opportunities people with SCI face every day.
- Post about SCI Awareness Month on Social Media: Spread awareness and education by sharing information and resources to your social network regarding spinal cord injuries on social media.
- Ask Questions: If you don’t have direct experience with SCI but would like to learn more, ask questions. Do research on ways you can help, whether it’s through donating money and/or time, helping out a friend or neighbor, or even becoming more educated about SCI in order to be of service to someone who needs assistance.
Bowel Management in Spinal Cord Injury
After SCI, a person is faced with many challenges and changes, often including the need to have a bowel program in place to ensure overall health and wellness, and achieve the highest quality of life possible. ENEMEEZ® Mini-Enemas are a part of an effective bowel care routine for spinal cord injury and have proven success in long-term care facilities.
Join the Thrive Community!
We’ve gathered a number of inspiring individuals with disabilities in our very own Thrive Community! The Thrive Community Facebook Group is a private space for any person with a disability, as well as caregivers and healthcare providers that touch their lives.
Our purpose is to provide a safe, educational space for group members to ask every question, connect with their peers, and empower each other through communication and connection. Our conversations are led by incredible individuals who themselves are living and thriving. For more enlightening resources, information, and discussion, join the ENEMEEZ® Thrive Community today!
Disclaimer: The material contained is for reference purposes only. Quest Healthcare, A Division of Quest Products, LLC, does not assume responsibility for patient care. Consult a physician prior to use. Copyright 2023 Quest Healthcare, A Division of Quest Products, LLC.
- Join Us in Raising Spinal Cord Injury Awareness - United Spinal Association
- 2023 United States Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
- S.Res.533 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): A resolution designating September 2014 as "National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month". | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
- United Spinal Resource Center - United Spinal Association
- Spinal Cord Injury Month: Best Ways to Help Raise Awareness