19 | SCI And Chronic Pain Management

Living and Coping with Chronic Pain

General Introduction

For many persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), living with and managing pain are major challenges that can have a tremendous impact on quality of life and the ability to carry out daily activities.

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A Skiing Accident That Changed Ida's Life

Ida's story

Ida had been an avid skier and hiker, and passionate swimmer for most of her life. At the age of 54 she was involved in a major ski accident that changed her whole life.

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Assessment – Gaining a Picture of Ida's Functioning

Assessment

During the assessment phase of Ida's Rehab-Cycle® the rehabilitation team conducted a comprehensive assessment. It involved an interview with Ida to gain an understanding of her needs and functioning status, including pain experience, from Ida's perspective (patient perspective). It also involved diverse discipline-specific clinical examinations and tests (health professional perspective). The assessment results served as the basis for setting Ida's Rehab-Cycle® goals.

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Cycle Goals – Improvement in Mobility in Addition to Improvement in Handling Stress and Other Psychological Demands

Goal-setting/Determination of Intervention Targets

Having a comprehensive overview of Ida's functioning based on the rehabilitation team's assessment and Ida's statements about her pain experience and other aspects of functioning helped them to identify mutual goals to reach during rehabilitation as well as specific targets to address with interventions.

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Wheelchair Training

Assignment and Intervention

Ida's rehabilitation team, who was charged with implementing the comprehensive, interdisciplinary rehabilitation and pain management programme, comprised of a physician, nursing staff, a physical therapist, a sports therapist, an occupational therapist, a psychologist, and a social worker.

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Evaluating Progress

Evaluation

Ida's pain experience and functioning status were assessed again at the end of Ida's Rehab-Cycle® to see which of the goals set at the beginning of the Rehab-Cycle® were achieved and to inform further healthcare decisions.

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Managing Pain Day-to-Day

Discussion

Living with and managing chronic pain is a common experience of persons living with spinal cord injury (SCI). Irrespective of type or severity of pain, post-SCI pain can impact all aspects of a person's life.

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Literature

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