Spinal Cord Injuries can be caused by a number of factors such as a sudden blow to the spine that can result in dislocation, fracture, or compression of either a single or more vertebrae.
Patient controlled analgesia is a pain control method where the medication is self-administered in a controlled manner. The patients determine the amount and number of times they need the pain medication. A computerized controlled pump called the analgesia pump is affixed to the patients’ intravenous line. This pump contains doctor prescribed pain medication. The pump can deliver constant flow of pain medication or as required by the patient.
In this spinal drug delivery system, pain medication is directly administered into the spinal cord. This type of pain control method, also known as intrathecal drug delivery, makes use of a small catheter or a pump that administers pain medication directly into the spinal cord.
When other medical pain relief and control treatments have failed to bring about any significant change, spinal cord stimulation is considered as an option. This is a procedure where very low electrical signals are delivered to the spinal cord or to certain specific nerves that can block pain signals travelling to the brain. The device that sends the electrical signals is either implanted right into the person through surgery or through the skin –percutaneously. The person controls the power and intensity of electrical impulses. This is similar to bioelectric therapy.
Recent advancements in stem cell therapy seem to indicate that the future of spinal cord injury treatment is bright. This therapy is aimed at using stem cells to regenerate areas of the spine that are damaged in order to improve post injury functioning of motor skills and sensory organs.
Surgery is often used as a last resort to treat pain arising out of traumatic spinal cord injury. Fragments of the damaged spinal cord, foreign objects, and other herniated discs are removed surgically. Surgery is also needed to stabilize weakened spine and deformity. Surgery is also used to reduce pain using decompression and implanted pain relief and control systems.
Narcotic or other pain medications are used to inhibit the ability of the brain to send and receive messages of pain. In fact, in addition to narcotic pain medications, other prescription pain relief medications include anticonvulsants, and other corticosteroids.