About spinal cord injuries

A spinal cord injury results in dependence upon a wheelchair.

Very few people understand that a spinal cord injury entails much more than just being confined to a wheelchair. People with spinal cord injuries must live with a number of other serious problems. On the one hand, a spinal cord injury involves a loss of mobility, the inability to walk and – at best – restricted use of the arms. On the other, it brings about a loss of bladder and bowel control, as well as sexual and sensory functions.

It has only been during the last 50 years or so that people with spinal cord injuries have been able to undergo rehabilitation in specialised units and centres. The Swiss Paraplegic Foundation and the Swiss Paraplegic Centre, along with other paraplegia centres, have made a huge contribution to the advancement of know-how surrounding spinal cord injuries in Switzerland.

What does a spinal cord injury entail?

On the following pages, you will find all the key facts on spinal cord injury:

The content of these pages is based on a summary of the WHO report “International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury”, to which Swiss Paraplegic Research made a significant contribution. 

The WHO report looks at spinal cord injury from an international perspective. It also incorporates several aspects from the service areas of the Swiss Paraplegic Foundation and its subsidiaries. 


Spinal cord injury comes with serious health-related and social consequences for those with the condition as well as their families.


How does spinal cord injury rehabilitation work?

Why are easily-accessible places important for people with spinal cord injuries?