Associations of Central Sensitization-Related Symptoms with Low Back Pain-Related Factors and Work Status in Caregivers

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 16;19(16):10135. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191610135.


Low back pain (LBP) is associated with psychological factors and central sensitization-related symptoms (CSSs). The relationship between CSSs, LBP-related factors, and work status in caregivers remain unclear. This multicentre, collaborative, cross-sectional study aimed to determine the association between CSS severity, LBP-related factors, and work status in caregivers with LBP. We measured LBP intensity, pain duration, pain sites, CSSs (using the Central Sensitization Inventory-9: CSI-9), psychological factors (using the Pain Catastrophizing and Pain Self-Efficacy scales), and work status (interference, amount of assistance, frequency of assistance, and work environment) in 660 caregivers. CSS severity was categorised as no (CSI-9:0−9), mild (CSI-9:10−19), or moderate/severe (CSI-9:20−36). We further performed multiple comparison analyses and adjusted the residual chi-square to reveal differences between CSS severity groups. Caregivers with more severe CSSs tended to exhibit worse LBP intensity (p < 0.01), widespread pain (p < 0.01), catastrophic thinking (p < 0.01), and pain self-efficacy (p < 0.01), and they also tended to experience work interference (p < 0.01). Caregivers without CSSs tended to receive a smaller amount of assistance with a lower frequency (p < 0.05). The number of participants with an adequate environment and equipment was significantly less in the moderate/severe CSS group (p < 0.01). Thus, our findings may suggest that CSS severity is associated with LBP intensity, widespread pain, psychological factors, and work status in caregivers.

Keywords: caregiver; central sensitization-related symptoms; low back pain; psychology; work status.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Central Nervous System Sensitization
  • Chronic Pain* / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grants and funding

This research was funded by a grant from JSPS KAKENHI, grant number 22K11219.