People with a Spinal Cord Injury can develop chronic pain within months of the injury. Up to
80% of the patients will develop chronic pain called "central pain" and describe the pain as:
burning, stabbing, or "like electricity." Central pain mechanism is unknown and therefore
treatment is currently not effective.
It is hypothesized that chronic pain is associated with impaired function of the systems
regulating pain, however, this hypothesis has not been tested among Spinal Cord Injury
patients. Presence of such a connection, between the regulating system dysfunction and
central pain, will help both predicting the risk of central pain and develop a treatment.
The current research objective is to make several sensory measurements which will measure the
functioning mechanisms of regulation and control of the pain. These measurements are accepted
throughout the world and are based on psychophysical assessment of patients. these
Measurements are designed to assess whether Spinal Cord Injury chronic central pain patients
demonstrate impairment in the regulation of pain. Finding such a link between central pain
and impaired regulation could shed light on the mechanism of central pain. In addition, these
measurements are designed to assess whether fresh spinal cord injury patients that have not
yet developed central pain demonstrate impairment in the regulation of pain immediately after
the injury. By repeated assessments of pain regulation capabilities, which will be made to
fresh Spinal Cord Injury patients during the first months of injury, and comparing the
results of these measurements between those who will develop center pain and those who will
not, we could identify indicators for predicting the risk of central pain. Another goal of
the study is to investigate the efficacy of central pain treatment, using a TENS, when the
parameters of the TENS treatment will be built according to the level of functioning of the
regulating systems of the individual.