Chronic pain following spinal cord injury

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;760:74-88. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-4090-1_5.


Most patients with insults to the spinal cord or central nervous system suffer from excruciating, unrelenting, chronic pain that is largely resistant to treatment. This condition affects a large percentage of spinal cord injury patients, and numerous patients with multiple sclerosis, stroke and other conditions. Despite the recent advances in basic science and clinical research the pathophysiological mechanisms of pain following spinal cord injury remain unknown. Here we describe a novel mechanism of loss of inhibition within the thalamus that may predispose for the development of this chronic pain and discuss a potential treatment that may restore inhibition and ameliorate pain.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Chronic Pain / etiology*
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Hyperalgesia / etiology
  • Hyperalgesia / physiopathology
  • Hyperalgesia / therapy
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy
  • Neuralgia / etiology
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Thalamus / physiopathology*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods


  • Analgesics