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Spinal Cord Injury Pain After a St. Louis Car Accident

Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that can lead to physical and neurological impairments and pain after a car accident.

man with spinal cord injury pain

Auto accidents are the top cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for almost half of all new cases.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI) from a car accident, you are likely dealing with some kind of pain. This pain can be challenging to manage and drastically reduce your quality of life. The good news is that understanding the types of SCI-related pain can help you navigate the road to recovery more efficiently. This article will discuss the common types of pain associated with spinal cord injuries. 

Types of SCI Pain

SCI pain is generally divided into two categories:

Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage or inflammation and is usually localized at the point where the SCI occurred. Nociceptive pain may include:

Musculoskeletal Pain: Musculoskeletal pain occurs when muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues around the spinal cord are damaged due to trauma or strain from the SCI.

This type of SCI pain can be described as a dull ache or throbbing that worsens when movement increases pressure on affected areas. Musculoskeletal pain can often be treated with physical therapy, massage therapy, or exercise programs specifically designed to help reduce tension in the affected areas.

Visceral pain: Visceral pain may result from an organ or tissue being stretched or compressed by a herniated disc or other spinal deformity caused by a car accident.

Neuropathic Pain 

Neuropathic pain occurs when nerve signals become misdirected due to damage to the spinal cord itself. Unfortunately, this type of SCI pain develops in approximately 53% of all SCI patients. 

Types of SCI (neuropathic) pain

Generally, SCI (neuropathic) pain can be divided into three categories: 

  • At-level SCI pain
  • Below-level SCI Pain 
  • Central Neuropathic Pain

At-level SCI pain occurs at the level where the spinal cord was injured. In contrast, below-level SCI pain is usually caused by abnormal functioning of nerves located below the site where the spinal cord was damaged. Central neuropathic pain involves both areas above and below the level of injury and often requires more aggressive treatment. 

Other Types Of Pain You May Experience:

  • Syrinx Pain: This type of pain occurs when fluid builds up in your spinal cord after an injury. This, in turn, causes high pressure against your nerves, leading to intense sharp pain throughout your body.
  • Referred Pain: Referred pain occurs when the body perceives sensations in areas where they are not actually occurring. This type of pain usually subsides with time as your body adjusts to its new normal after a spinal cord injury.

Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal injury due to a car accident, contact The Hoffman Law Firm. Our St. Louis car accident attorneys have over 25 years of experience and are ready to help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.



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Updated: February 26, 2023