Neuropathic pain in paralympic and recreational athletes with SCI

Approximately 50% of people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) experience neuropathic pain. However, it is not yet known the impact that neuropathic pain has on athletes with SCI. Currently, drugs are the most frequently prescribed treatment for SCI pain, but often lead to unwanted side effects. Interestingly, exercise has been shown to be effective for SCI pain; therefore, the purpose of this project is to understand the relationship between exercise and neuropathic pain experiences among Paralympic and recreational athletes with SCI.

This study will involve a telephone interview with the student investigator, and will require you to answer questions about your neuropathic pain experiences, and weekly exercise training habits (approx. 30 minutes). Next, you will be asked to complete a set of online questionnaires which will involve questions about your neuropathic pain, and how you cope with it (approx. 30 minutes)

You may be able to participate in this study if you:

  • are over 18 years old
  • can read, speak, and understand english
  • have access to the internet and a phone
  • have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury (SCI) more than 1 year ago
  • have an injury level at C3 or below
  • experience chronic at or below-level neuropathic pain
  • are currently training for 2021 or 2022 Paralympic games (ie. member of the Canadian national team) OR are meeting the Starting Level of the SCI Physical Activity Guidelines (ie. 40 min/week of structured, moderate intensity, aerobic exercise and 2bouts /week of strength training)

You may not be able to participate in this study if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have chronic pain with non-neuropathic origins (eg. musculoskeletal pain)
  • are an in-patient at a hospital at the time of enrolment
  • participate in a Paralympic sport which does not require moderate-high intensity exercise for training OR not a recreational athlete as defined above (ie. NOT meeting starting level of SCI Physical Activity Guidelines)

Time commitment

  • 1 hour

Compensation for Participation

Individuals who participate in this study will receive an Amazon gift card based on study completion.

This study will take place remotely (online survey / phone call / video call).

For more information or to sign up to participate, please contact the study coordinator, Kendra Todd by email or by phone at (519)-546-3496.