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. 2011;33(5):433-40.
doi: 10.3109/09638288.2010.498557. Epub 2010 Aug 9.

Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Pain: Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Treatments and Treatment Effectiveness

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Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Pain: Pharmacological and Non-Pharmacological Treatments and Treatment Effectiveness

Matagne Heutink et al. Disabil Rehabil. .

Abstract

Purpose: To describe pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain treatments used for chronic spinal cord injury pain (CSCIP) and current treatment effectiveness in a large Dutch population with a spinal cord injury (SCI).

Method: Postal survey among 575 persons with SCI. The main outcome measures were the pain intensity score of the Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire, past and current pain treatments, and perceived effectiveness of current pain treatments.

Results: Response rate was 49% (279 persons) and 215 respondents (77.1%) had CSCIP. Most respondents with CSCIP (62.8%) reported more than one pain type, of which neuropathic pain was most frequently reported (69.3%). Of this group with CSCIP, 63.8% was currently involved in some kind of treatment, but nevertheless high levels of pain (mean 52.8 on a 0-100 scale) were reported. Massage (therapy)/relaxation (training), anticonvulsants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were the most often used treatments. The current treatments that were most often perceived as effective were acupuncture/magnetising, cannabis/alcohol, physiotherapy and exercise, and massage (therapy)/relaxation (training). TENS/ultrasound and antidepressants were least often perceived as effective.

Conclusions: Many SCI pain treatments have been tried. Acupuncture/magnetising, cannabis/alcohol, and physiotherapy and exercise were considered most effective. Further research is needed to establish effective SCI pain treatments.

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