Chronic pain associated with spinal cord injuries: A community survey

  • J.A. T
  • D.D. C
  • C.A. W
  • 2

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate, in a community sample of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs), chronic pain prevalence, associated factors, sites, characteristics, interference with daily functioning, treatments received, and treatment helpfulness. Design: Postal survey. Setting: Community. Participants: Three hundred eighty-four individuals aged over 17 years with SCIs. Main Outcome Measures: Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire, Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, pain sites, and treatments. Results: Current pain was reported by 79% of respondents and was significantly more common in less highly educated persons, and individuals not employed or in school. Most common locations of current pain were the back (61%), hips and buttocks (61%), and legs and feet (58%). Upper extremity pain was experienced by 76% after the injury and by 69% currently. Individuals with tetraplegia were significantly more likely to have neck and shoulder pain than were those with paraplegia. On average, respondents reported a high level of pain intensity and a moderate level of pain interference with activities, and rated treatments received for pain as being only somewhat helpful. Conclusion: Most individuals with SCI experience chronic pain that is refractory to medical treatment. Further research is needed to delineate the causes of, and optimal treatments for, the various pain problems in this population. © 2001 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *analgesic agent/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • *chronic pain/co [Complication]
  • *chronic pain/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • *chronic pain/th [Therapy]
  • *narcotic analgesic agent/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • *nonsteroid antiinflammatory agent/dt [Drug Therap
  • *spinal cord injury/rh [Rehabilitation]
  • acupuncture analgesia
  • adolescent
  • adult
  • amitriptyline/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • article
  • baclofen/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • carbamazepine/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • daily life activity
  • diazepam/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • female
  • human
  • leg pain/co [Complication]
  • leg pain/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • leg pain/th [Therapy]
  • low back pain/co [Complication]
  • low back pain/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • low back pain/th [Therapy]
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • massage
  • mexiletine/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • morphine/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • neck pain/co [Complication]
  • neck pain/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • neck pain/th [Therapy]
  • nerve block
  • opiate/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • pain assessment
  • pain/co [Complication]
  • pain/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • pain/th [Therapy]
  • paracetamol/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • paraplegia/rh [Rehabilitation]
  • patient counseling
  • physiotherapy
  • psychotherapy
  • quadriplegia/rh [Rehabilitation]
  • rating scale
  • relaxation training
  • shoulder pain/co [Complication]
  • shoulder pain/dt [Drug Therapy]
  • shoulder pain/th [Therapy]
  • spinal cord stimulation
  • transcutaneous nerve stimulation

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Authors

  • Turner J.A.

  • Cardenas D.D.

  • Warms C.A.

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