Study design: A cross-sectional study. Objectives: Neuropathic pain (NP) after spinal cord injury (SCI) tends to be hard to treat, and its heterogeneous properties make it difficult to identify and characterize. This study was conducted to assess the characteristics of SCI-related NP in detail. Setting: A single hospital for SCI rehabilitation. Methods: This study included 72 patients who were seen at our hospital in 2012 and 2013 and who had sustained SCI at least 3 months before enrollment. The patients completed the Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (NPSI) and the Short Form (SF)-36 Health Inventory. The NPSI score was analyzed for correlations with clinical presentations of SCI and SF-36 subitems. Results: Paresthesia/dysesthesia was the most common subtype of NP after SCI. With regard to location, below-level superficial NP was significantly more intense than at-level pain. Patients who underwent surgery showed significantly less evoked pain compared with patients with non-surgery. Patients reported significantly more severe pain if >1 year had elapsed after the SCI. Patients with an American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grade of B for completeness of injury reported more intense NP than those with other grades. Among the SF-36 subitems, NP correlated significantly with bodily pain, general health and mental health. Conclusion: NP in SCI patients was significantly associated with the location of pain, the time period since the injury, surgery and quality-of-life factors. A more detailed understanding of the characteristics of NP may contribute to better strategies for relieving the pain associated with SCI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas