As with other subjective experiences, such as love, fear, or anger, there's no way to objectively measure pain. We asked Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the Pain Management Division and associate professor of anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine, to explain the unpleasant sensation we all feel in different ways.
A spinal cord injury requires immediate treatment in order to decrease risk of long-term problems. Corticosteroid drugs such as dexamethasone (Decadron) or methylprednisolone (Medrol) are used to reduce swelling. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. Bed rest may be needed in order for the spine to heal. After acute spinal cord injuries occur, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation interventions sometimes are required.
Currently, there is no cure for spinal cord injury; however, researchers continue to work on advances, many of which have resulted in a decrease in damage at the time of the injury.