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Volume 46 Number 1, 2009
   Pages 1 — 12

Abstract - Biopsychosocial perspective on a mechanisms-based approach to assessment and treatment of pain following spinal cord injury

Eva G . Widerström-Noga, DDS, PhD;1-3* Nanna B. Finnerup, MD, PhD;4-5 Philip J. Siddall, MBBS, PhD6

1Department of Veterans Affairs Miami Medical Center, Miami, FL; 2The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Miami, FL; 3Departments of Neurosurgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL; 4Department of
Neurology, Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 5The Spinal Cord Unit, Viborg Hospital, Viborg, Denmark; 6Pain Management Research Institute, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Abstract — This article applies a biopsychosocial perspective to a mechanisms-based approach to the assessment and treatment of the heterogeneous and persistent pain conditions associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). This article presents an overview of the types of pains experienced after SCI and some of the research on the mechanisms, diagnostic issues, and psychosocial factors relevant for the development of treatments targeting specific underlying mechanisms of pain. This review also discusses several diagnostic challenges of determining the underlying causes of pain in each individual patient.

Key words: affective distress, coping, evoked pain, neuropathic pain, pain assessment, pain classification, pain mechanisms, rehabilitation, sensory examination, spinal cord injury, treatment.

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