Chronic pain is a frequent problem in the majority of the SCI population and can occur not only above the level of injury but also at or below the level of injury and in both complete and incomplete injuries. In a recent study at the UW, 82% of patients with SCI reported persistent, bothersome pain at some time after discharge from their initial inpatient Rehabilitation. Post-SCI pain can be so severe and disabling that some patients have said they would give up the possibility of neurological recovery in favor of pain relief.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) typically results in sensory paralysis, or a loss of feeling in areas using nerves that connect to the spinal cord below the level of injury. A person with complete paralysis can’t tell if these areas are being tickled with a feather, stuck with a pin, or burned with a match. The lack of pain sensation presents a constant danger; persons with SCI must to learn to compensate with other senses to avoid damaging themselves.
Unfortunately, paralysis does not guarantee freedom from pain. In fact, a number of people with SCI experience chronic pain in areas that otherwise have no sensation.
Many people are raising funds for spinal cord injury (SCI) research but do not have a clear idea of what the funds are paying for. In the article, I will explain research grants and the cost of SCI research, the funding situation in the field, how to improve the quality and rate of research, and what we are doing at Rutgers University to encourage collaboration.
Recent press reports have claimed that hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) therapy may be beneficial for acute and even chronic spinal cord injury. HBO therapy involves placing a person inside a chamber that has been pressurized with an enriched oxygen atmosphere. What does HBO do? What are the benefits and drawbacks of HBO? Should people with spinal cord injury be trying HBO? In this article, I will attempt to answer these frequently asked questions.
Drug Treatments For New Injuries
NOTE: It is important to realize these drugs are not a cure for chronic (long-term) spinal cord injuries. It is heart-ening to note, however, that treatments finally are available to lessen the severity of some acute injuries.
Research has shown that all damage in SCI does not occur instantaneously. Mechanical disruption of nerves and nerve fibers occurs at the time of injury. Within 30 minutes, hemorrhaging is observed in the damaged area of the spinal cord and this may expand over the next few hours.
American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)
Group of medical and other professionals engaged in treatment of spinal cord injury: to promote and establish standards for health care, education, to foster research and to facilitate communication between members.
This study compared the short-term pressure-relieving ability of the three most commonly prescribed wheelchair cushions (Roho, Jay, Pindot) for a person with SCI. The number of pressure sensors registering at the buttock-cushion interface during wheelchair sitting was measured by the Xsensor Pressure Mapping System after 5 min of sitting. An alternating treatments research design, with an initial baseline and a final treatment phase ending with the most effective cushion for relieving pressure, was used for the clinical evaluation. Measurements were compared using visual inspection and a Wilcoxon signed ranks test.
Transplanted stem cells can improve Motor skills in injured rats
FRIDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDayNews) — Japanese researchers are reporting yet another advance in the repair of damaged body parts using fetal stem cells.
This one could be big because it involves spinal cords, experts say.
Doctors trying to find a way to repair devastating spinal injuries have used a plastic tube implant to restore some movement in rats.
However, experts say this is simply a step forward in the search for a “cure” which may be some years away.
The simple, tiny tube may act as a “bridge” which allows regrowing nerve cells to stretch across the gap left by an injury, and hopefully make connections on the other side.