Chronic pain problems in individuals with spinal cord injuries.

J. A. Turner, D. D. Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic pain problems are common in individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI); however, many questions about the prevalence, nature, and impact of such problems remain unanswered. Questionnaires were mailed to individuals on an SCI newsletter mailing list to investigate chronic pain problem prevalence, sites, characteristics, interference with daily functioning, associated factors, treatments received, and treatment helpfulness. Completed questionnaires were received from 164 individuals over age 17 with SCI. Unpleasant, but not painful, sensations were currently experienced by 75%, and 80.5% reported currently experiencing one or more pain problems. Among all 164 respondents, 62% reported experiencing high intensity pain in the previous week. Respondents indicated that they had received a variety of treatments for pain, but the only treatment reported to be helpful on average for the sample was opiate medication. Among respondents reporting current pain problems, most reported more than one problem (16.7% reported one, 25.8% reported two, 16.7% reported three, and 40.9% reported more than three). These findings indicate that chronic pain is a serious secondary problem in individuals with SCI and underscore the need for further research aimed at delineating the causes of, and optimal treatments for, the various pain problems in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in clinical neuropsychiatry
Volume4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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