Pain intensity, pain interference and characteristics of spinal cord injury

P. M. Ullrich, M. P. Jensen, J. D. Loeser, D. D. Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Study Design: Postal survey. Objectives: To examine if the intensity of pain in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) varied as a function of pain site, and to identify the patient and SCI characteristics associated with pain location, pain intensity and pain interference in a sample of persons with SCI. Setting: Community sample, United States. Methods: A postal survey including measures of pain intensity, pain interference, other pain, demographic and medical characteristics was completed by 238 adults with SCI. Results: Average pain intensity was moderate and pain was common across the body. Demographic and medical variables, including SCI level, were generally not associated with pain prevalence, intensity and interference. However, persons with higher level injuries were more likely to report upper extremity pain than persons with paraplegic injuries. The lower body was the location of the highest pain ratings. Conclusion: Persons with SCI tend to experience high pain intensity over multiple body locations. Lower body pain was as common as upper extremity pain, but tended to be more intense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Functioning
  • Pain
  • Pain interference
  • Pain site
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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