Self-Medicating Practices for Managing Chronic Pain After Spinal Cord Injury


Reading Rehabilitation Hospital, RD #1, Box 250, Morgantown Road, Reading, PA 19607.


Spinal cord injured (SCI) persons often experience chronic pain. Methods of dealing with pain that the SCI client found helpful in the past may not be beneficial after the injury. This article describes a study of self-medication for the purpose of pain relief. Over-the-counter, prescription, or illicit drugs or alcohol are among the agents employed in self-medication. The rehabilitation nurse has a role in helping the SCI person to identify appropriate methods of managing chronic pain throughout life.