The UAB-SCIMS offers a series of Fact Sheets on selected topics related to SCI. Some Fact Sheets are products of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS). Others are developed by the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center and provide useful health information that is based on research evidence and/or professional consensus and has been reviewed and approved by the SCI Model Systems editorial team of experts. All fact sheets are written for consumers.
All Fact Sheets are free to print and disseminate for educational purposes.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Part 1 - The Body Before and After Injury (PDF)
This fact sheet is intended to be a starting point for understanding the normal functions of the spinal cord and how those functions might change after spinal cord injury. (en español)
Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Part 2 - Recovery and Rehabilitation (PDF)
Recovery and Rehabilitation is important to returning to functioning back to normal. There is no cure for SCI but you can learn the potential areas for improvement. (en español)
Adjusting to Life after Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
Most people adjust well to life after SCI. This fact sheet outlines what adjusting well looks like, what difficulty with adjustment looks like, and offers insight into other common areas of adjustment. (en español)
Autonomic Dysreflexia (PDF)
Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) is a medical condition that can lead to serious stroke, seizure, organ damage, permanent brain injury, or even death if not treated immediately. This fact sheet will help you better understand AD and prepare you for what to do if you get it. Has a medical treatment card to print a carry in case of emergency. (en español)
Bladder Management Options following Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
Learn about the problems caused by your injury and the strategies used to help you manage bladder problems. (en español)
Surgical Alternatives for Bladder Management following Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
Learn how surgery can be used to help manage bladder problems if nonsurgical approaches do not work. (en español)
Urinary Tract Infection and Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
UTI is one of the most common medical problems after SCI. Learn more about your risk for UTI, how to best prevent it, and what to do if you get it. (en español)
Bowel Function after Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
Bowel management is a life-long balancing act to maintain control over your bowel movements. This fact sheet will help you find that balance to maintain your quality of life. (en español)
Sexuality and Sexual Function after Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
Written for both men an women with SCI, this fact sheet discusses the impact of SCI on sexuality, dating, sexual arousal, orgasm, fertility, and relationships. (en español)
Weight Management Following Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
Emphasizes the importance of a good food plan for individuals following a spinal cord injury. Discusses changes to the body after SCI that influence food selection; weight control; and nutrients.
Exercise after Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
People with SCI can and should be physically active, and your health will benefit from regular exercise after SCI. Learn about stretching, aerobic exercise, strength training, setting goals, recognizing potential barriers, being prepared, and about resources that can help you have a successful exercise program. (en español)
Adaptive Sports and Recreation (PDF)
This fact sheet is discusses the importance of adaptive sports and recreation, how To get involved, types of adaptive sports participation, and resources. (en español)
Respiratory Health and Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
The respiratory system changes after spinal cord injury. Learn how those changes may impact health, and how you can better manage your health. - (en español)
Personal Care Attendant (PDF)
Offers guidelines and ideas on employing and managing a PCA. Topics include advertising, interviewing, and qualities to consider when selecting a PCA. Can be used by rehab service providers with their clients.
Caring for Caregivers (PDF)
Discusses the issues of caregiving for people with spinal cord injury and offers a self-test for stress and tips for managing self-care.
Heterotopic Ossification (PDF)
Reviews the causes, location, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of H.O.
- Causes & Risks (PDF) (en español)
- Prevention (PDF) (en español)
- Pressure Reliefs (PDF) (en español)
- Building Skin Tolerance (PDF) (en español)
- Areas at High Risk (PDF) (en español)
- Recognizing and Treating Pressure Sores (PDF) (en español)
The Wheelchair Series: What the SCI Consumer Needs to Know
These 3 factsheets include important information to help you find a wheelchair that truly meets your needs.
- Getting the Right Wheelchair (PDF) (en español)
- The Manual Wheelchair (PDF) (en español)
- The Power Wheelchair (PDF) (en español)
Research for a Cure in Spinal Cord Injury (PDF)
A review of the types of research being conducted in a cure for spinal cord injury and how potential cure strategies might be applied.