Pain following a spinal cord injury can be complex and challenging to manage. Clearer direction for treatment and a number of specific resources now exist to help people with pain after a spinal cord injury and also healthcare professionals involved in the care of these patients.
- Pain following spinal cord injury (SCI) is common, often severe in intensity and has a major impact on physical function, emotional wellbeing and quality of life.
- There are several well characterised and classified types of pain that present following SCI with different features and underlying mechanisms.
- Assessment should seek to determine the different biological, physical, psychological and environmental contributors to the pain, as well as any potential spinal red flags.
- The optimal treatment of pain following SCI relies on an integrated approach that uses the full range of pharmacological and nonpharmacological options to achieve the best outcomes possible.