AA

Physical Activity for Post-SCI Pain

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Exercise has been shown to improve subjective well-being for individuals with chronic disease and disability. Specifically, a study found high amounts of heavy intensity and mild intensity physical activity correlated with lower levels of pain among individuals with SCI who use a manual wheelchair as their primary mode of mobility (Tawashy et al. 2009).

Table 9: Exercises for Post-SCI Pain

Discussion

Exercise programs which included resistance and strength training were shown to significantly improve pain post SCI (Ginis et al. 2003; Nawoczenski eta l. 2006; Serra-Ano eta l. 2012; Finley & Rogers 2007; Nash et al. 2007). There is conflicting evidence for the use of exoskeleton walking to reduce SCI related pain (Stampacchia et al. 2016; Baunsgaard et al. 2018).

Conclusion

There is level 1b evidence (from one randomized controlled trial; Ginis et al. 2003) that a resistance training based exercise program significantly reduces post-SCI neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain.

 There is level 2 evidence (Middagh et al. 2013) that exercise combined with biofeedback improves musculoskeletal pain post SCI.

 There is conflicting evidence from two level 4 pre-post studies (Stampacchia et al. 2016; Baunsgaard et al. 2018) for the use of exoskeleton for reducing pain post SCI.

  • Resistance training based exercise reduces post-SCI neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain.

    Exercise combined with biofeedback reduces musculoskeletal pain post SCI.

    Exoskeleton may not reduce pain post SCI.