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Spinal cord injury pain

mondor mondor at micronet.fr
Fri Jul 5 02:39:20 EST 1996

Walter S wrote:
>    I am a 35-year-old male, who had in 1986 a spinal cord injury at
> the level of Th12-L1. Fortunately there was just a period of few
> days, when I had a total paraplegia, after which I started to move
> my legs more and more.
>    At present I walk with a crutch, but there are many things which
> do not go well. Among them the major problems are the bladder,
> which I do not feel at all and the pain along my left leg.
>    Whereas I feel quite normally the right, I do not have a good
> perception of some areas of the left leg; the sensitivity lacks on the
> back side and down below the knee.
>    Since the injury I have strong pain along this leg, it has increased
> and spread over the past years. Then I had learned that there is a great
> psychological component in this matter, I can live better when I do not
> care about pain. Sometimes it begins when the
> weather is changing, other times it is due to a wrong position of
> sitting (bad circulation), or when I get angry!
>    A good thing is that the frequency of hard pain problems is quite
> low, say once per month or less. On the other hand I have pain
> attacks every day, but they are just isolated occurrences (they
> could be even strong, my eyesight can get dim) and I carry on.
>    The strong attacks are of a different kind: there is a beginning
> when I feel a pang in a certain part of the leg and then it repeats at
> intervals. It can last 24 hours and it depresses me. It is a "cerebral
> suffering", because I am expecting the arrival of the pang and I am afraid
> of it, I can not relax.
>    In such case I take some medicines, which do not help much, I can
> say nothing. The first I knew was TAVOR (these trade-names are
> used in Italy), just to relax. Some times I fell asleep thanks to it, but
> just for a while. With ROIPNOL I sleep certainly, but, strange,
> sleeping I feel the pain too. Afterwards they gave me SIRDALUD
> (tizanidina, 6mg), CONTRAMAL (tramadolo, 100mg), TORA-DOL
> (ketorolac trometamina, 30mg), DORSIFLEX (mephenoxalon, 200mg)
> and LIOMETACEN (indometacina meglumina, 25mg).
>    Among these treatments I found that keterolac can help, at least
> when pain arises due to temperature (cough, infections etc.) But
> now I have problems with it. It makes me have asthma. So doctors
> substituted it with indometacina, which I did not tested properly (I
> took pills only, while injections are more effective).
>    Doctors say that I should take the SINEQUAN (doksepin, 25-
> 50mg) regularly every day, but I am against a treatment created
> for mental problems. It should calm down my nerves, but...? Taking
> pills every day for months or years will destroy my stomach, I do
> not trust such a treatment. To be true I tried once for one month.
> Since there was no improvement, I left it. Doctors say that it should
> be taken for very long period, it should improve my life.
>    Now I am confused. It is better to take a strong drug once per
> month, suffering every day a little, or having a long term treatment
> trusting that it will help, that it will not destroy my brain and my
> stomach? What about alternative therapies?
> Can somebody send me a mail or answer in this news group?
> I will be very grateful.
>    Walter Starz
>    Please, send mail to the following address:  i3008855 at utsax7.univ.trieste.it
> and write "To Walter" (Also try my address, though I had problems with it.
> It could be that I lose some replies.) Thanks.

We have tried in 3 cases to use chronic cortical stimulation for the 
treatment of paraplegic pain. 1 very long-term good result. 1 mild. 1 
without result.

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