Christine Short

Christine Short, MD, FRCPC

Interim Division Chief,
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, QEII Health Sciences Centre
Assistant Professor, Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation,
Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University
(cross appointed to the Division of Neurosurgery)

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Tel: (902) 473-1238


Neurologic rehabilitation in spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis

Dr. Christine Short specializes in treating patients with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurologic disorders. Through research, she hopes to maximize her patients’ function and solve their most pressing problems. She is currently studying medications that help improve walking and function in MS, treatment for severe neuropathic pain, and spasticity–particularly in terms of how it makes walking very difficult. Her goal is to improve people’s quality of life by improving function and reducing pain and suffering.

Dr. Short holds grants from the Rick Hansen Institute, the Capital Health Research Fund and private industry to:

  • see if a medication called pregabalin can prevent chronic neuropathic pain if given immediately following spinal cord injury
  • conduct larger studies to confirm pilot-study findings that botulimun toxin (botox) injections can decrease leg-muscle spasticity and improve walking ability in people with incomplete spinal cord injury and MS
  • develop a Nova Scotia Spinal Cord Injury Registry to furnish clinicians and service providers with valuable health services utilization and outcomes data.

Women’s health

In her work as a clinician, Dr. Short has found that women with MS and spinal cord injury face gender-specific challenges. She is examining women’s health issues in both conditions and looking for ways to help them solve problems and overcome barriers.

As a member of the Mobility Project, Dr. Short collaborates locally with scientist Dr. Dan Marsh and spinal cord surgeons Drs. Sean Christie and Steven Casha, as well as with pain specialist Dr. Mary Lynch. She maintains active collaborations with numerous colleagues across Canada.

Academic background

Christine Short completed a B.Sc. in biology at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, before entering medical school at Dalhousie University. After receiving her MD, she pursued postgraduate medical training in physical medicine and rehabilitation, also at Dalhousie. Dr. Short accepted appointments at Dalhousie and the QEII Health Sciences Centre upon receiving her fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in 1999. She now serves as medical director of the Neurorehabilitation Program and interim chief of the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Selected Publications

Luke F. Reynolds, Christine A. Short, David A. Westwood, Stephen S. Cheung. Head Pre-Cooling Improves Symptoms of Heat-Sensitive Multiple Sclerosis Patients. Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 2011; 38: 106-111.

Robert W. Teasell, MD, FRCPC, Swati Mehta, HBSc, Jo-Anne L. Aubut, BA, Brianne Foulon, HBA, Dalton L. Wolfe, PhD, Jane T.C. Hsieh, MSc, Andrea F. Townson, MD, FRCPC, Christine Short, MD, FRCPC, the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Evidence Research Team: A Systematic Review of Pharmacologic Treatments of Pain After Spinal Cord Injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2010; 91:816-31.

Lynch ME, Short CA. Chronic Pain History and Physical Exam; from Clinical Pain Management: A Practical Guide; editors Mary E Lynch, Kenneth D Craig, and Philip W. H. Peng. April 2010. Blackwell publishing In Press.

Short C, Askari S. Can Botulinum Toxin Improve Gait in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis?: A case Series AB . The Journal of Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical Laboratory Research. Accepted for Publication April 2010. In Press.

Teasell RW, Aubut J, Wolfe DL, Hsieh JTC, Townson AF , Short CA (2008). Pain Following Spinal Cord Injury: In: Eng JJ, Teasell RW, Miller WC, Wolfe DL, Townson AF, Aubut J, Abramson C, Hsieh JTC, Connolly S, editors. Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Evidence. Version 2 pg 657-707. Vancouver, BC.

Hsieh JTC, Wolfe DL, Townson AF , Short CA, Sandra J Connolly, BHScOT(C), OT Reg (Ont.),Armin Curt, MD FRCPC, Jeff Blackmer, MD FRCPC, Keith Sequeira, MD FRCPC, Brianne L Foulon, BA Hons, Jo-Anne L Aubut, BA (2008). Spasticity Following Spinal Cord Injury: In: Eng JJ, Teasell RW, Miller WC, Wolfe DL, Townson AF, Aubut J, Abramson C, Hsieh JTC, Connolly S, editors. Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Evidence. Version 2 pg 879-954. Vancouver, BC.

Short C., Bonaparte J., Deluzio K., Alneaimi Y. Can Botulinum Toxin Improve Gait in Persons with Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury? (AB). J. Rehabil Med Suppl 47, June 2008, Supp. No 47: 280.

Worley S, Short C.Dalteparin VS low-dose unfractionated heparin for prophylaxis against clinically evident venous thromboembolism in acute traumatic spinal cord injury: A retrospective cohort study. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. Vol 31, NO 4: 379-387. Winter 2008.

Bruno TR, Short CA, Courtney-Walker J. Barriers to Health Promotion in Women with Spinal Cord Injuries in Nova Scotia: A Qualitative Assessment Pilot Project. Published in the abstracts for the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Scientific Meeting, November 2007.

*Short CA. Cannabinoids for the Management of Spinal Cord Injury and Multiple Sclerosis Related Spasticity: A valid treatment option?. Published in the proceedings of the 15th interurban spinal cord injury conference, Hamilton Ont. October: 25-26, 2007.

*Short, CA. Spasticity in multiple sclerosis: How to manage unwanted symptoms. Compass, June: 5-8, 2007.

*Koshi, EB, Short, CA. Placebo theory and its implications for research and clinical practice. Pain Practice. Vol 7, Issue 1: 4-20, 2007.

Worley, S., Short CA. Management of DVT in acute spinal cord injury, a retrospective chart review AB. Published in the abstracts for the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Scientific Meeting. Hawaii, USA, November 2006

*Lynch ME, Short C, Young J, Walker J. Report on a case series of patients using a buccal cannabis extract containing THC and CBD for treatment of neuropathic pain and spasticity, International Cannabinoid Research Society Meeting, Hungary, June 2006, Abstract 63.

*Koshi, Edvin, Short, Christine, Lynch Mary. Methadone in the treatment of Spinal Cord Injury Pain: Review of a series of three patients. Published in the abstracts of the 11th World Congress on Pain, August 21-26, 2005, Sydney, Australia. IASP press 665-P271.