Interrelationship of Neurogenic Obesity and Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury

Elizabeth R. Felix, David R. Gater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of obesity and of neuropathic pain are both estimated at above 50% in the population of people with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). These secondary consequences of SCI have significant negative impact on physical functioning, activities of daily living, and quality of life. Investigations of relationships between weight or body composition and chronic neuropathic pain in people with SCI are lacking, but investigations in non-SCI cohorts suggest an association between obesity and the presence and severity of neuropathic pain conditions. In the present article, we present a review of the literature linking obesity and neuropathic pain and summarize findings suggesting that metabolic syndrome and chronic, systemic inflammation due to excess adiposity increase the risk for neuropathic pain after an SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • adipokines
  • chronic pain
  • inflammation
  • neuropathic pain
  • obesity
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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