This mnemonic, which uses the letters in the word “SYMPTOM,” could be useful for learning the essentials of Sympathetically Maintained Pain (SMP). These key characteristics of SMP and its link to complex regional pain syndrome can be easily memorised by medical and nursing students.
It can help with both academic preparation and clinical assessment of individuals with post-traumatic pain and inflammation.
Chronic pain that persists after an injury or nerve damage is called sympathetically maintained pain (SMP). Joint swelling, bone loss, and arthritic changes are common symptoms, and the pain is typically described as scorching.
It results from sympathetic hypersensitivity in response to injury to primary afferent nociceptors. By cutting off the supply of sympathetic nerves to the afflicted limb, SMP symptoms can be alleviated.
Sympathetically Maintained Pain Mnemonics :
- S – Spontaneous pain in or beyond the region innervated by the nerve
- Y – Delayed onset of pain (hours to days or even weeks)
- M – Signs of sympathetic dysfunction, including swelling, bone loss, and arthritic changes
- P – Pain relief with sympathetic nerve block
- T – Trauma or injury can lead to the development of SMP
- O – Overactivity of sympathetic nerves can activate undamaged nociceptors in the presence of inflammation
- M – Medical evaluation should seek signs of sympathetic hyperactivity