Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Pain in a Spinal Cord Injury
Pain in a
spinal cord injury (SCI) can be complicated and
confusing. There are different types of pain, and they are often described in
different ways. You may feel pain where you have feeling. But you may also feel
pain in an area where otherwise you have no feeling. The pain may be severe at
some times. But at other times it may disappear or bother you only a little.
The most common type of pain experienced with SCI is neuropathic
pain around the injury area. This is also known as the "circle of fire" or the
"ring of fire." Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to the nervous system.
Other types of pain include musculoskeletal (pain in the bones, muscles, and
joints), and visceral (pain in the abdomen).
Neuropathic pain is caused by
damage to the
nervous system. It is common in SCIs.
Musculoskeletal pain occurs in
the bones, joints, and muscles. Unlike neuropathic pain, movement affects it,
and it is usually made worse by movement and eased with rest. It is often
described as a dull or aching pain.
Visceral pain occurs in the abdomen
(stomach area). The pain can be described as burning, cramping, and constant.
If you have pain, do not ignore it. Talk
to your doctor. You need to know the type of pain and its cause to manage it.
And pain can signal a more serious problem.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerNancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Current as ofApril 28, 2015
Current as of:
April 28, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital