Pain after Spinal Cord Injury: Activity Modification for Musculoskeletal Pain

A New Fact-Sheet

November 10, 2023

A new report that summarizes the latest medical advice about dealing with musculoskeletal pain after a spinal cord injury has just been issued in a Factsheet from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC). Musculoskeletal pain refers to discomfort or pain that affects the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other components of the musculoskeletal system.

The MSKTC collected data about the topic from the 14 best SCI research hospitals across the nation, and put it into a short, easy to read Factsheet with plain language that people can understand and use in their everyday lives. Thomas N. Bryce, MD, Lisa Haubert, DPT, Jeanne M. Zanca, PhD, J. Scott Richards, PhD, and Jeffrey Berliner, DO. collaborated with the MSKTC to develop the Factsheet, titled: “Pain After Spinal Cord Injury: Activity Modification for Musculoskeletal Pain.” The publication explains the various causes of musculoskeletal pain and outlines ways to combat them before they become problematic.

Here is a brief summary:

  • A spinal cord injury can lead to specific problems with musculoskeletal pain
  • Adjustment in exercise can help reduce or prevent musculoskeletal pain. 
  • Constant pushing of wheel rims is a leading cause musculoskeletal pain.
  • Shoulder health is crucial. Limit and control hand and arm tasks
  • When transferring, work with a therapist to learn certain techniques that can minimize pain.

A more complete description of how to recognize and prevent musculoskeletal pain is outlined in detail. It includes ways to learn to move your body properly during daily pressure relief, the use of opioids in pain management, and choosing a proper exercise program for those using a wheelchair.

To read the entire fact sheet and download a copy click here

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