Associations Between Neck and Shoulder Pain and Neuropathic Pain in a Middle-aged Community-living Population

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2022 Apr 15;47(8):632-639. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000004207. Epub 2021 Aug 24.


Study design: A cross-sectional study.

Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of NeP in subjects suffering from NSP to reveal the impact of NeP on the health-related QOL (HRQOL) in middle-aged and elderly people with NSP in a health checkup.

Summary of background data: No previous studies have established the relationship between NSP and NeP as potential risk factors contributing to a decreased QOL in the general population.

Methods: The present study involved 203 participants (men: 84, women: 119; mean age: 63.3 yr). For each subject, anthro-pometric measurements, physical function examinations, and blood testing were performed. A cut-off score of >0 on the short-form spine painDETECT questionnaire defined the presence of NeP. Subsequently, the NSP (+) subjects were divided into 2 sub-groups: the NeP (+) and NeP (-) groups. For the assessment of QOL, the short form 36 health survey and the EuroQol 5 dimension 5 level version (EQ-5D-5L) tool were used.

Results: The study included 100 NSP (+) and 103 NSP (-) subjects. Among the NSP (+) subjects, 46 and 54 subjects were found to be NeP (+) and NeP (-), respectively. For the short form 36 health survey, the multivariate regression analysis revealed that the prevalence of NeP was associated with a lower physical QOL (OR 3.56) and lower mental QOL (OR 4.04). Similarly, the NeP prevalence was found to be the predictor for low QOL scores in EQ-5D-5L (EQ-5D-5L index value <0.875; OR 3.61).

Conclusion: The prevalence of NeP was reported to be 46.0% in healthy middle-aged and elderly population suffering from NSP, where it was associated with poor HRQOL. Therefore, strategies aimed at alleviating NeP may contribute significantly to the improvement of QOL in middle-aged and elderly people with NSP.Level of Evidence: 2.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia* / diagnosis
  • Neuralgia* / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Shoulder Pain* / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Pain* / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires