Published: 2022-08-25

A study of disability in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain

Prasad L. Chaudhari, Sachin Y. Kale, Gaurav Kanade, Shikhar D. Singh, Sanjay B. Dhar, Ajay Sharma


Background: Musculoskeletal impairment is the most common cause of chronic pain and subsequent disability world over. Yet their very few Indian studies on this subject. The aim of study was to assess the extent of disability in out-patients suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain, to determine whether the disability varied with the age and sex of the patient, to assess any correlation between the intensity of pain and the extent of disability, and to evaluate whether the extent of disability depended upon the site, periodicity and duration of pain.

Methods: The 200 patients of chronic musculoskeletal pain were assessed for disability using the pain disability questionnaire (PDQ) and pain intensity using the numeric pain rating scale. The patients with mild, moderate and severe disability were compared using non parametric tests to assess the differences related to age, sex, pain intensity, site, duration and periodicity of pain.

Results: The 56% patients had mild, 41% had moderate while 3% patients reported severe disability. Disability was higher in patients in the younger age group, higher intensity of pain, heel pain and variable pain. In the regression analysis, pain intensity emerged as the sole predictor of disability.

Conclusions: We conclude that 56% patients had mild, 41% had moderate while 3% patients reported severe disability. Disability was higher in patients at the extremes of age, higher intensity of pain, and variable pain. Gender and pain duration did not have any significant association with disability.


Chronic musculoskeletal pain, Disability, Pain intensity

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