Assessing and treating pain associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and spasticity: Evidence and recommendations from the Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation

S. Paolucci, A. Martinuzzi, G. Scivoletto, N. Smania, C. Solaro, I. Aprile, M. Armando, R. Bergamaschi, E. Berra, G. Berto, E. Carraro, Monica Cella, M. Gandolfi, M. Masciullo, M. Molinari, E. Pagliano, Cristiano Pecchioli, L. Roncari, M. Torre, Elisabetta TrabuccoGabriella Vallies, P. Zerbinati, Stefano Tamburin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pain is a common and disabling symptom in patients with stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy (CP), spinal cord injury (SCI) and other conditions associated with spasticity, but data on its prevalence, and natural history, as well as guidelines on its assessment and treatment in the field of neurorehabilitation, are largely lacking. The Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation (ICCPN) searched and evaluated current evidence on the frequency, evolution, predictors, assessment, and pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of pain in patients with stroke, MS, CP, SCI and other conditions associated with spasticity. Patients with stroke, MS, CP, and SCI may suffer from pain related to spasticity, as well as nociceptive and neuropathic pain (NP), whose prevalence, natural history, impact on functional outcome, and predictors are only partially known. Diagnosis and assessment of the different types of pain in these patients is important, because their treatment may differ. Botulinum neurotoxin is the first choice treatment for spasticity, while some antidepressant and antiepileptic drugs may be effective on NP, but pharmacological treatment varies according to the underlying disease. In most cases, a single therapy is not sufficient to treat pain, and a multidisciplinary approach, which include pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments is needed. Further studies, and in particular randomized controlled trials, are needed on these topics. © 2016 Edizioni Minerva Medica.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-840
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Pain
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

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