alexa Abdominal Pain: A Comparison between Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation
Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

Physicaltherapy & Rehabilitation

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Author(s): Pia Mller Faaborg

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Introduction. Most spinal-cord-injured patients have constipation. One-third develop chronic abdominal pain 10 years or more after injury. Nevertheless, very little is known about the nature of abdominal pain after spinal cord injury (SCI). It may be neuropathic or caused by constipation. Aim. To compare characteristics of abdominal pain in SCI with able-bodied with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Subjects and Methods. 21 SCI and 15 CIC patients were referred for treatment of bowel symptoms. Constipation-related symptoms were assessed with the Cleveland Constipation Scoring System and the International Spinal Cord Injury Basic Bowel Function Data Set. Characteristics of abdominal pain were described using the Brief Danish Pain Questionnaire. Total gastrointestinal transit times (GITT) were measured by radiopaque markers. Results. Seventeen (81%) SCI and 14 (93%) CIC patients reported abdominal pain or discomfort within the last month (). Pain was considered more intense by CIC than by SCI patients (). Only minor differences were found in patient’s qualitative description of abdominal pain or in the location of pain. In neither SCI nor CIC was pain associated with GITT. Conclusion. Most characteristics of abdominal pain among SCI patients resemble those of CIC. This indicates that constipation is a major cause of pain after SCI.

This article was published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

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