The Pain Of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

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A study from the Pain Journal found that chronic musculoskeletal pain was more common than chronic neuropathic pain, however, neuropathic pain was found to be more severe and debilitating. Studies show that approximately 65%-85% of individuals with spinal cord injuries suffer from chronic pain. Many patients with spinal cord injuries will develop “severe/excruciating” neuropathic pain below the level of their injury. (Siddall et all, 2003). United States SCI veterans are susceptible to chronic neuropathic pain due to a wide range of contributing factors that include trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, surgery, anesthesia, prolonged immobilization, depression and anxiety, and mental illness – or a combination of any aforementioned. Many of our SCI patients are on heavy pain medications that limit them from activities of daily living and affect their ability to participate in scheduled therapies in the hospital. For example, when our patients are on opioid medications, they are unable to drive which directly affects their ability to function normally in society. Additionally, these medications can lead to patients unwilling to leave the house or hospital because it will interfere with their regular drug administration times. In both of these instances, the patient’s day becomes dependent upon drug administration. Pain is described by Siddall as, “an unpleasant sensory and/or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms
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