Help DeskHealth & Wellness after SCIHealth and Wellness by sub-topicPain Management

3.20. Pain Management

Primary Resources:

  • Pain after Spinal Cord Injury - produced through collaboration between the Model System Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) and the SCI Model Systems. This health information is based on research evidence and/or professional consensus; it has been reviewed and approved by an editorial team of experts
  • Pain after Spinal Cord Injury – part of a "Staying Healthy after SCI" series provided by Northwest Regional SCI Systems of Care. Brochure can be downloaded; includes detailed explanation of types of pain
  • Pain Management following Spinal Cord Injury – information sheet provided by University of Alabama; discusses types of SCI pain and its management

Secondary Resources:

  • Understanding Pain and SCI – provided by Northwest Regional SCI Systems of Care; a quick overview that includes preventive measures
  • Pain and the Brain - What brain science tells us about why we feel pain and how we can change it; a conversation with Mark P. Jensen, PhD., a University of Washington Rehabilitation Psychologist

Organizations and resources:

       *  The Translational Pain Research Group 1- 617-525-PAIN(7246) at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Anesthesia, are striving to bring laboratory research into a safe and effective clinical research setting       


  • Aching Shoulders an excellent pamphlet, developed by Craig Hospital, that discusses the risk for shoulder pain in the person who uses a wheelchair for mobility; includes risk factors, aggravators and helpful hints to combat this problem
  • Upper Extremity Pain part of the Craig Hospital pamphlet series, this pamphlet addresses the common problem of upper extremity pain and injury that can occur from daily overuse and aging; discusses types of injuries and treatment options
  • Treating SCI Pain: What the Research Says - Treatment for spinal cord injury (SCI) pain continues to be a focus of research; this summary article discusses some of the treatment options being studied
  • Upper Limb Pain in SCI  - An article in Northwest Regional SCI System's SCI Update, Spring 2012, V. 21, No. 2.  Persons who must use their shoulders, arms, and hands for transfers, wheeling and other mobility needs are at increased risk for developing problems with pain in their neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists.   This article addresses pain in each of these areas and offers tips to reduce your chances of developing pain, minimize the presence of pain, manage and treat pain
  • Using Hypnosis for SCI Pain Management – This report discusses some of the myths and misunderstandings about the use of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting.  Available as a written report or in a 4 part video.  From the University of Washington department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  • Vitamin D and Pain - Article by Laurance Johnson, PhD, Paraplegia News, Dec 2012, V. 66, No. 12.  As a society, we are limited to sun exposure and as a result have become a vitamin deficient as a people.  This has led to disorders that are aggravated by chronic underexposure to the sun.  Some associated health problems include osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental-health disorders, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Video Resources:

SCI Forum video "Managing Chronic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury"
from the Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System
Chronic (or long-standing) pain is a common problem for people living with spinal cord injury, and it is often very difficult to treat. In this forum video, two UW Rehabilitation Medicine clinicians discuss the different types, causes and potential treatment options for chronic pain. Deborah Crane, MD, MPH, assistant professor and rehab physician at Harborview, reviews medications, surgical options, injections, pumps, massage, and other treatments. Dawn Ehde, PhD, professor and rehab psychologist discusses different self-management strategies for decreasing and coping with chronic pain, including relaxation, pacing and hypnosis.

More pain management video selections are available in the Video Resource Room Knowledge Book: Health & Wellness chapter


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