The Anatomy Of My Spinal Cord Injury
cervical spinal cord injury diagram:
* The above diagram shows the location of the cervical spine where my injury occurred.
* I suffered a C5-6 vertebral fracture causing damage to the spinal cord which resulted in paralysis from the chest down; also known as quadriplegia.
* Typically the bony vertebrae protect the cord from damage or injury. However, if the bone breaks it could impinge, compress, or bruise the cord.
spinal column diagram:
* The spinal column contains:
- 7 cervical vertebrae (these are in the neck)
- 12 thoracic vertebrae (these are in the trunk)
- 5 lumbar vertebrae (these are in the lower back)
- 5 sacral vertebrae (these are in the pelvis)
- 4 fused vertebrae that
form the coccyx (tail bone)
spinal cord diagram:
* The spinal cord runs through the oval shaped opening in the vertebra. It is a bundle of nerves that function in the transmission of neural signals between the brain and the rest of the body.
* The nerves are what control sensory & motor function which become impaired after a spinal cord injury.
Hello, I’m Natalie & I was born & raised in
Immediately after I received my Massage license I began making plans to start my own private massage business. This was a very exciting time of my life because school was finally over & I was entering the career world. I was excited & proud of my achievements while continuing to pursue my future dreams. I wanted to work towards opening my own health center with a variety of different types of therapy together in one center.
It’s amazing how what you envision for you life may not be what happens despite your best efforts. I learned this when just 3 weeks after I received my license tragedy turned my life in unimaginable directions. Everything I worked for was gone in seconds.
I was in excruciating pain for a long time & on a ventilator for about a week. Inpatient at ECMC for lasted for a long 2 months but then my family & I decided to transfer to a specialty spinal cord center in
I finally returned home almost 6 months after the date of injury. I remember wanting so badly to be back in the comforts of my own home, however when I got there I discovered that my familiar life was changed. I became depressed & angry trying to cope & fit back into so called ‘normal’ life. The dynamic between friends & family was different & I no longer felt comfortable going out to even my favorite places. Adjusting was harder than I could have imagined. Family & friends planned a few benefits on my behalf & were very supportive.
I continued my outpatient rehab at ECMC for about a year, WNY Physical & Occupational Therapy for a few months, then I took a non traditional approached & rehabbed at the Pilates Studio & Fitness Institute 2x a week for another year. I gained a lot more strength & was finally getting some relief from my neck pain. Throughout my rehab I was on a waiting list to go back to
About 1 year after I started Beyond Therapy I discovered another center about 40 min outside
Currently I go to Shepherd Center 6 hours & Center IMT 21 hours per week. I feel that I am receiving the perfect balance of rehab for my physical, emotional, & mental healing. I have more hope now than ever before that I will walk again!
Thanks to God’s amazing love & blessings & my family & friends support I continue to make amazing strides in my journey. One day I will be a therapist again, with new perspectives & start my own center to help others.
Please check out my blog at:
http://natalie-barnhard.blogspot.com/ Here I will have more detail of the things I’m working on in therapy & how I’m progressing. Also watch for my spinal cord foundation that will be coming soon.
Thanks to everyone for believing in me! I’m working hard everyday & continue to heal & grow!
With Love ~ Natalie