The main causes of spinal cord ischemia are a variety of vascular pathologies causing acute arterial occlusions. We investigated neuroprotective effects of coumaric acid on spinal cord ischemia injury in rats. Rats were divided randomly into four groups of eight animals as follows: control, ischemia, ischemia + coumaric acid, and ischemia + methylprednisolone. In the control group, only a laparotomy was performed. In all other groups, the spinal cord ischemia was performed by the infrarenal aorta cross-clamping model. Levels of malondialdehyde and nuclear respiratory factor 1 were analyzed, as were the activity of superoxide dismutase. Histopathological and immunohistochemical evaluations were performed. Neurological evaluation was performed with the Tarlov scoring system. The ischemia + coumaric acid group was compared with the ischemia group, and a significant decrease in malondialdehyde and levels was observed. Nuclear respiratory factor 1 level and superoxide dismutase activity of the ischemia + coumaric acid group were significantly higher than in the ischemia group. In histopathological samples, the ischemia + coumaric acid group is compared with the ischemia group, and there was a significant increase in numbers of normal neurons. In immunohistochemical staining, hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha and NF-kappa B immunopositive neurons were significantly decreased in the ischemia + coumaric acid group compared with that in the ischemia group. The neurological deficit scores of the ischemia + coumaric acid group were significantly higher than the ischemia group at 24 h. Our results revealed for the first time that coumaric acid exhibits meaningful neuroprotective activity following ischemia-reperfusion injury of the spinal cord.