Authors: Lmagama S et al
Spine (Jun 2019)
STUDY DESIGN Prospective research in middle-aged and elderly people OBJECTIVE.: To investigate low back pain (LBP) and neuropathic pain (NeP); spinal alignment and range of motion (ROM); spinal degenerative changes in plain radiography; osteoporosis; muscle strength; and physical ability as possible risk factors for poor QOL.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA The aging of society has led to an increase in elderly people with chronic pain, including LBP and NeP. However, there has been no analysis of NeP and spinal sagittal alignment as potential risk factors for decreased QOL in the healthy general population.
METHODS The subjects were 1,128 people (male 473, female 655, average age: 64.3 years) who attended an annual health checkup in Yakumo study. The prevalence of LBP and sciatica were investigated using a visual analogue scale (VAS), and NeP was defined as ≥13 points on the painDETECT questionnaire. Sagittal spinal alignment with spinal ROM was also measured. Body mass index, muscle strength, physical ability, osteoporosis, and lumbar degenerative changes were measured, and SF-36 was used for QOL analysis.
RESULTS NeP was present in 113 people (10%). The NeP(+) subjects had significantly more severe pain, lower gait speed, higher osteoporosis rate, lumbar kyphosis, and larger spinal inclination (p < 0.01) compared to NeP(-) subjects. On SF-36, physical and mental QOL were significantly lower for NeP(+) subjects (p < 0.0001). In multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for age and gender, NeP(+) (odds ratio (OR): 3.01), positive spinal inclination (OR: 1.14), and high VAS for LBP (OR: 1.04) were identified as risk factors for low physical QOL, and NeP(+) (OR: 5.32) was the only significant risk factor for low mental QOL.
CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that interventions for NeP and other identified risk factors may contribute to improvement of low physical and mental QOL in middle-aged and elderly people.