Neuropathic pain assessment scales in spinal cord injuries: a review of recent data

  • Migkou S
  • Evangelopoulos DS
  • Evangelopoulos ME
  • Pneumaticos S
Keywords: neuropathic pain, verbal descriptor, spinal cord injury, pain scale, assessment tool


Pain due to central or peripheral nervous system lesions, following spinal cord injuries is a widely known pathology, referred to as neuropathic pain.Many inventories have been developed for the evaluation of neuropathic pain, such as the inventory of neuropathic pain symptoms (NPSI) and the short form McGill pain questionnaire 2 (SF-MPQ-2). Neuropathic pain assessment tools represent a significant progress in clinical and in neuropathic pain research and are practical guides for the evaluation of neuropathic pain in patients, especially in primary care settings, providing clinical information for distinguishing neuropathic pain from non-neuropathic pain. Some tools evaluate qualitatively neuropathic pain (mostly used in clinical settings), while others use quantitative parameters (mostly used in research). In this literature review, different neuropathic pain assessment tools are reviewed as well as the usefulness of verbal pain description items, in the classification of pain following spinal cord injuries. Moreover, their predictive validity is considered. According to literature, verbal pain description inventories are not sufficiently specific for the diagnosis and classification of spinal cord injuries pain. Researchers suggest the implementation of multiple variables inventories for pain classification and for the evaluation of their validity either as clinical or research tools.


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Author Biographies

Migkou S

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece

Evangelopoulos DS

3rd Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece

Evangelopoulos ME

Department of Neurology, University of Athens, Eginition Hospital, Athens, Greece

Pneumaticos S

3rd Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece


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