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Spinal Cord Injuries - History of Paralympics

After the First and Second World Wars, many soldiers and civilians became disabled around the world. In order to reduce the impact of physical disabilities, these people began to receive physical training to help rehabilitate and regain self-confidence through sports. Let us discuss different types of spinal cord injuries today!

Our spinal cord is like a relay system that helps transmit signals from the brain to different parts of the body, or vice versa. If the spinal cord is injured, the function below the injured area will be disrupted, and that would cause the inability to move or feel sensations, aka paralysis.

There are 2 main types of paralysis that are caused by spinal cord injuries, paraplegia and quadriplegia.


Paraplegia refers to paralysis below the waist, and usually affects both legs, hips and other functions, such as sexuality and elimination. However, paraplegia varies from person to person. Paraplegia usually happens when the spinal cord is injured at the thoracic (upper back) or lumbar (low back) part.


Quadriplegia refers to paralysis below the neck. All four limbs and the torso are typically affected. Occasionally, quadriplegia is a temporary condition, and the symptoms decrease as the swelling goes down and the nerves are less compressed.

Quadriplegia usually happens when the spinal cord is injured at the cervical (neck) portion.

The most common cause of spinal cord injuries includes automobile accidents, falls, acts of violence and sporting injuries.

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