By Kory McHenry and Kenneth McHenry, M.D.

Illustration by Mark H. Adams

The late Dr. Patrick Wall found that about one in 15 SCI patients has central pain. The bizarre burning occurs only where the cord injury is incomplete. Electric shocks or muscle pain may also occur. The preservation of sensation may be very slight, but some nerve function is necessary to maintain central pain. Some relief may be found in opiates (opioids), tricyclic antidepressants, or anticonvulsants (see sidebar, p. 34). Most patients can still wear clothing and have only mild muscle pain.

Of people with SCI who experience central pain, about a quarter hav