Radicular and nonradicular back pain in Parkinson's disease: A controlled study

Authors

  • Doris Broetz PT,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Therapy, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    2. Department of General Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    • Physiotherapy, Department of General Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Martin Eichner PhD,

    1. Department of Medical Biometry, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Thomas Gasser MD,

    1. Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Michael Weller MD,

    1. Department of General Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Joachim P. Steinbach MD

    1. Department of General Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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Abstract

Postural abnormalities and increased muscle tone in Parkinson's disease (PD) may cause back pain. In this controlled study, we analyzed features of back pain in PD patients. The prevalence of back pain was 74% in PD patients (n = 101) when compared with 27% in control patients (n = 132; P < 0.0001, fisher's exact test), but did not correlate with disease severity or duration. The mean back pain intensity (visual analog scale of 0–10) was 4.3 for PD patients, and 1.3 for controls. Both radicular and nonradicular types of back pain were more frequent, and back pain caused more impairment in PD patients. However, it is noteworthy that the PD patients in our study did not receive more pain medication than control patients. This suggests that back pain in PD patients is often neglected and insufficiently treated. Our results argue for the routine evaluation of back pain in every patient suffering from PD. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society

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