Schematic of above-level escape response (AL-ER) testing upon below-level stimulation. Shown is the way in which the animals were held for the AL-ER testing upon hindpaw stimulation with a mechanical (black arrow, dorsal) or a thermal (gray arrow, plantar) stimulus. The animals were loosely held so that animals could escape from the investigator’s grip. An AL-ER refers to escape behavior elicited by structures innervated above the level of injury used. Here, we used a thoracic injury; hence, AL-ERs were defined as the transition of a calm state to a state of fleeing/distress, as defined by activation of frontlimbs, shoulder/neck/head area and/or vocalization. Per time point, the hindpaws were tested in an alternating manner at 1–2 h intervals for up to a total of four times per paw for each stimulus.