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Neuropathic / Spinal Cord Pain

In general, there are five categories of pain that occurs as a complication of SCI: central, muscle tension, visceral, neuropathic and psychogenic.

Central Pain: Central pain, also called dysesthetic pain, is typically a burning, tingling, shooting, stinging, or "pins and needles" sensation. Some people also complain of a stabbing, piercing, cutting, and drilling pain. This type of pain usually occurs within days, weeks, or months of the injury and tends to decrease with time in both frequency and intensity. Central pain is diffuse and occurs most often in the legs, back, feet, thighs, and toes, although it can also occur in the buttocks, hips, upper back, arms, fingers, abdomen, and neck.

Central pain occurs more frequently in older, more anxious people. It often results from noxious stimuli, such as smoking, bladder and bowel distention, infections, and skin sores, and from heterotopic ossification, deep venous thrombosis, fractures of the arms and legs, prolonged inactivity, spasticity, fatigue, and depression.

Muscle Tension: Muscle tension, also known as mechanical pain or musculoskeletal pain, is a dull, aching sensation that occurs in people with or without SCI. Muscle tension, that is a complication of SCI, occurs with increased frequency in the shoulder, hip, and hand, although it also occurs in the lower back and buttocks. Muscle tension is probably caused by a combination of factors, such as abnormalities that may have always been there, inflammation, repetitive trauma, excessive activity, vigorous stretching, and contractions due to paralysis, spasticity, flabbiness, disuse and misuse. Generally speaking, muscle tension is usually aggravated by activity and relieved by rest.

Visceral Pain: Visceral pain is a vague and dull or diffuse sensation, or feeling of discomfort or bloating, in the area of the abdomen, or referred pain felt elsewhere, such as the shoulder. Visceral pain is caused by problems with internal organs, such as the stomach, kidney, gallbladder, urinary bladder, and intestines. These problems include distension, perforation, inflammation, and impaction or constipation, which can cause associated symptoms, such as nausea, fever, and malaise, and pain. Visceral pain is also caused by problems with abdominal muscles and the abdominal wall, such as spasm.

Neuropathic (nerve-generated) pain is a significant problem in some spinal cord-injured patients. It is probably the most suffered from too post injury. Varying types of pain are described in spinal cord injury. Damage to the spine and soft tissues surrounding the spine can cause aching at the left of the injury. Nerve root pain is described as sharp or may be described as having an electric shock-type quality. Occasionally SCI patients will describe phantom limb pain or pain that radiates from the level of the lesion in a specific pattern that is related to injury or dysfunction at the nerve root or spinal cord level. Various medications and nerve block procedures have been described and are of some use in the treatment of neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury.

Psychogenic Pain:
Psychogenic pain is also known as phantom limb sensations. Its symptoms and causes are variable

Skin Breakdown
pneumonia.htm
Osteoporosis and Fractures
Heterotopic Ossification
Spasticity
Urinary Tract Infections
Autonomic Dysreflexia
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Pulmonary Embolism
Orthostatic Hypotension
Cardiovascular Disease
Syringomyelia
Neuropathic / Spinal Cord Pain
Medication Problems
Hyperthermia
Hypothermia
 


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