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Review Article

Med Arh. 2009; 63(2): 106-107

Spinal Cord Injury and Chronic Pain

Ksenija Miladinović.

Prevalence of chronic pain which develops after spinal cord injury (SCI) varies, but in average is 65%. There are many questionnaires and scales for characterisation and classification of chronic SCI pain. One of them is LANSS (Leeds Assesment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs) scale for differentiation of neuropathic pain. Aims of this study were: 1) To assess prevalence of chronic pain in the sample of patients with SCI; 2) To classify the pain; 3) To analyse its correlations with demographic and neurological features as well as with activities of daily life (ADL); 4) To evaluate pain treatment. Patients and methods: Retrospective, randomized, observational study based on personal interview, Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for pain intensity evaluation, graded from 0 to 10, and on LANSS scale included 100 patients. Results: 50% of patients reported existence of chronic pain. In 80% of them pain was below the level of SCI and in 20% of them pain was at the level of SCI. 92% of patients with chronic pain fulfilled LANNS score for neuropathic pain. VAS showed higher intensity of pain among men (average 7.4) than in women (average 6.6). There were positive correlations: between VAS and LANSS scale (p=0.002), between VAS and age (p=0.040) and between VAS and level of injury (Pearson rho=0.329; p=0.020). 60% of patients declared pain interference with ADL. 24% of patients did not treat pain at all, 16% treated pain with physical procedures and 60% treated pain pharmacologically. Conclusions: Results of this study confirmed high prevalence of chronic pain among patients with SCI, and its features indicated neuropathic type of pain. Pain intensity had positive correlation with gender, age, level of SCI and ADL. Results showed that pharmacological treatment of this pain is much more in use than non-pharmacological one.

Key words: spinal cord injury, chronic pain

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