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Spinal Cord. 1997 Feb;35(2):69-75.

Classification of pain following spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Pain Management and Research Centre, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

Pain continues to be a significant management problem in people with spinal cord injuries. Despite this there is little consensus regarding the nature, terminology and definitions of the various types of pain that occur following spinal cord injury. This has led to large variations in the reported incidence and prevalence of pain following spinal cord injury. Treatment studies have been hampered by inconsistent and inaccurate identification of pain types. We believe that both research and management would benefit from an agreed upon classification system which accurately and reliably identifies the types of pain that occur following spinal cord injury. We have reviewed the literature on the classification of pain following spinal cord injury and have developed a classification system which adopts the strengths of previous systems and attempts to avoid the weakness inherent in others. Our proposed classification system of pain following spinal cord injury includes four major divisions: musculoskeletal, visceral, neuropathic and other types of pain. We have divided neuropathic pain on the basis of region into two subdivisions: neuropathic at level and neuropathic below level pain. We have further divided neuropathic at level pain into two categories: radicular and central, to indicate the presumed site of the lesion responsible for pain generation. We believe that our proposed classification system is comprehensive, simple and readily applicable in the clinical and research situation. It is our hope that this proposed classification will contribute to the eventual development of a universal system for the classification of pain following spinal cord injury.

PMID:
9044512
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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