Natural History of SCI Pain

Turner et al. (2001) examined the timing of the development of pain post-SCI noted that in 901 patients with SCI, pain started immediately after SCI in 34%, within the first year in 58%, pain increased over time in 47% and decreased over time in 7%. Turner et al. (2001) noted that pain most often started within the first 6 months following SCI. This has also been noted in several other studies (Nepomuceno et al. 1979; Siddall et al. 1999; Stormer et al. 1997; Turner & Cardenas 1999).


For many SCI patients, pain has a significant impact on quality of life. Over 50% of SCI patients develop chronic pain. Severe pain is more common the lower down the lesion in the spinal cord. Pain post SCI most often begins within the first 6-12 months post-SCI.

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