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Review
, 384, 75-83

Neuropathic Pain and SCI: Identification and Treatment Strategies in the 21st Century

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Review

Neuropathic Pain and SCI: Identification and Treatment Strategies in the 21st Century

Maya N Hatch et al. J Neurol Sci.

Abstract

Pain is a common complication in patients following spinal cord injury (SCI), with studies citing up to 80% of patients reporting some form of pain. Neuropathic pain (NP) makes up a substantial percentage of all pain symptoms in patients with SCI and is often complex. Given the high prevalence of NP in patients with SCI, proper identification and treatment is imperative. Indeed, identification of pain subtypes is a vital step toward determining appropriate treatment. A variety of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments can be undertaken including antiepileptics, tricyclic antidepressants, opioids, transcranial direct current stimulation, and invasive surgical procedures. Despite all the available treatment options and advances in the field of SCI medicine, providing adequate treatment of NP after SCI continues to be challenging. It is therefore extremely important for clinicians to have a strong foundation in the identification of SCI NP, as well as an understanding of appropriate treatment options. Here, we highlight the definitions and classification tools available for NP identification, and discuss current treatment options. We hope that this will not only provide a better understanding of NP for physicians in various subspecialties, but that it will also help guide future research on this subject.

Keywords: ISCIP; Neuropathic pain; Neuropathic pain measures; Pain classification; Pain management; SCI pain treatment; Spinal cord injury.

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