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Treatments for chronic pain in persons with spinal cord injury: A survey study.

AbstractBACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE:
To determine the degree and duration of pain relief provided by specific pain treatments used by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) who have chronic pain.
DESIGN:
Postal survey.
SETTING:
Community.
PARTICIPANTS:
Participants were 117 individuals who had traumatic SCI, were 18 years of age or older, and reported a chronic pain problem.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Questions assessing current or past use of 26 different pain treatments, the amount of relief each treatment provided, and the length of time that any pain relief usually lasts.
RESULTS:
The medications tried most often were nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (tried by 71%) and acetaminophen (tried by 70%); these medications were still being used by more than one half of the patients who had tried them. Opioids produced the greatest degree of pain relief on average (mean, 6.27 +/- 3.05 [SD] on a 0-10 scale, with 0 = no relief and 10 = complete relief) but were unlikely to be continued by those who tried them. Although 38% of respondents with pain had tried gabapentin, only 17% were still using it, and average pain relief was only moderate (mean, 3.32 +/- 3.03 on the 0-10 relief scale). Seventy-three percent of the respondents had tried at least 1 of 7 alternative pain treatments, and the most frequently tried were massage, marijuana, and acupuncture. The most relief was provided by massage (mean, 6.05 +/- 2.47] on the 0-10 relief scale) and marijuana (mean, 6.62 +/- 2.54 on the 0-10 relief scale). The relief from the various treatments, including most medications, tended to last only minutes or hours; however, pain relief from alternative treatments such as massage, acupuncture, and hypnosis was reported to last for days in 25% to 33% of those who tried these treatments.
CONCLUSIONS:
Many patients are not finding adequate pain relief from commonly prescribed medications. Alternative therapies should be considered as additional treatment options in this population.
AuthorsDiana D Cardenas, Mark P Jensen
JournalThe journal of spinal cord medicine (J Spinal Cord Med) Vol. 29 Issue 2 Pg. 109-17 ( 2006) ISSN: 1079-0268 [Print] United States
PMID16739554 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Analgesics
Topics
  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics (therapeutic use)
  • Cannabis
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis
  • Male
  • Massage
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain (epidemiology, physiopathology)
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Measurement
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (epidemiology, physiopathology)
  • Treatment Outcome

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