Chronic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury- An Update, pp. 623-634
Authors: Tiina Rekand
Abstract: Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) may suffer from a complex of consequences that often require long-term management and follow-up. One of the most common and disabling health problems after SCI is chronic pain. All types of pain may be present after SCI - nociceptive, neuropathic and combination of both. Identification of possible causes and clinical characteristics of pain is essential for optimal management of chronic pain. Management of pain should be addressed to the type of pain and the factors influencing pain perception. Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches for management should be considered. A tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline, and the antiepileptics gabapentin and pregabalin are the first-line therapeutics for neuropathic SCI pain. Coping strategies, psychological support and physiotherapy as options are reviewed. In intractable cases, surgical techniques may alleviate chronic pain problem and are shortly reviewed.