This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Managing Pain After Spinal Cord Injury. Elizabeth Felix, PhD, discusses Asking About Pain.
It wasn’t really acknowledged that people with Spinal Cord Injury could have pain in areas where their nervous system wasn’t working appropriately. So for a long time when, a spinal cord injured patient would report that they have this pain in their legs that was very troubling, and constant, and burning and gave them a lot of trouble, a lot of physicians, some physicians would dismiss that because how could they be feeling anything below the level of their injury where there is no sensation. But now it’s clearly accepted that these are phenomena that happened and that we have these type of central pain phenomenon and so I think one thing that is important that when you’re talking to your patient with spinal cord injury to really ask them about pain. Because that’s another thing depending on how you ask the question you might not get the right response. And people with spinal cord injury are dealing with a number of different issues that they have to deal with. The number of systems in their body that have now been changed and pain may not be the first thing that they think of. But when it becomes a chronic condition, and it’s with them for the rest of their life it’s going to impact their life so if we ask the questions in the right way then we’ll be able to see if there is something that we can do to help, prevent or treat the pain that they have.
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