Exercises 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


Ginis et al. (2003) studied SCI patients who underwent a regular exercise program and compared them to SCI patients who did not. Those who underwent the regular exercise program experienced a significant improvement in pain scores which in turn accounted for improved depression scores. Ditor et al. (2003) found that pain scores were negatively correlated with adherence to a later exercise program.


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

  • Regular exercise reduces post-SCI neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain.