Post by Lαrα on Jul 31, 2014 1:46:09 GMT -8
Firstly lets understand pain a little better...What i find interesting is that it seems difficult to assess pain. At the moment the only test that i know of is the 'tell me how it feels on a scale of 1-10'
I find this a very unspecific test that presents me with questions...I get very tempted to ask 'what am i comparing it to'...what does one feel like? I know i have a high pain threshold because i know the pain i endured for weeks before my surgery was unbearable and i didnt cry even..not once.
Oh i cry at sad things very easily though, even adverts on TV ..where is the sense in that?! Anyways back on track....
This type of pain sensitivity has to deal with the inflammation or damage to your bodily tissue. For example, when you get a cut on your finger, you are experiencing peripheral sensitization. During this process, there is a change in the transduction proteins, which are the carriers of messages that affect the nociceptors, or the receptors of your body’s sensory neurons. When you burn your finger, the stimulus is transformed into electrical signals which are then carried throughout your nervous system and up to your brain via these proteins.
During this type of pain something different happens in people: instead of originating from bodily harm, this pain can manifest itself without tissue damage. What happens is that the neurons in your central nervous system become excited more easily —resulting in feeling pain for much longer periods of time and much more easily. The pain that would normally subside after the initial stimulus still lingers around, eventually leading to chronic pain.
So..pain after Spinal Cord Injury
The pain that can be experienced after SCI can be difficult to make sense of ...there are so many crazy things going on with the body that its had to pin point the pain sometimes.
I can remember calling my doctor when i started with the electric shock nerve pain and because i was worried that something more was wrong with me. He just said 'its the damaged nerves' which to be honest made no sense at all to me.
Now i understand that the brain is trying to make sense of what is happening with the body since its normal communication is disconnected becasuse of damaged nerves.
This leads to Neuropathic Pain and would be associated with
Peripheral Sensitization as explained above. It seems that the brain is randomly telling us we have damaged ourselves in different areas below injury level. My stabbing pain, as an example, occurs anywhere, its very random. It can also be in the form of electric shock pain and/or burning.
Chronic pain as explained above is from harm to the body..and is long term. In my understanding this can be more related to what is described as Musculoskeletal pain,affects muscles, bones and joints.
Musculoskeletal pain can be caused by injury, overuse or strain, arthritic changes, or wear and tear of the joints, often from wheelchair use (including inadequate support for sitting) and/or transfers. It usually gets worse with movement and better with rest.
Back pain can be due to spinal surgery that has involved fusions, increased motion that occurs just above and just below the fusion can lead to back pain.
Another pain associated with Spinal Cord Injury are muscle spasms...these can be real painful. This is due to spasticity and muscles and joints becoming strained.
SCI can cause people to feel pain even in numb parts of the body...its no wonder that its confusing! I have numb areas that are painful and hypersensitive.
You may find this link helpful as its important to find ways of managing your pain over the longterm Pain management specialist
Other threads of interest:
Nerve pain information and management
Pain and pain management