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Papers: 24 Sep 2022 - 30 Sep 2022

2022 Sep 17

J Clin Med



Neuropathic-like Pain Symptoms and Their Association with Muscle Strength in Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain.



The relationship between sarcopenia and pain remains unclear; thus, this study evaluated whether muscle strength is independently associated with neuropathic-like pain symptoms in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. A cut-off score of painDETECT ≥13 was used to indicate a possible neuropathic component. Handgrip strength was measured, and muscle mass was estimated. A total of 2599 patients, including 439 patients who reported neuropathic-like pain symptoms (16.9%), were included for analysis. Handgrip strength was significantly lower in patients experiencing neuropathic-like pain symptoms (23.23 ± 10.57 vs. 24.82 ± 10.43 kg, < 0.001), and this result was chiefly found in female patients. However, there was no difference in estimated muscle mass. Shorter duration of pain, opioid usage, pain in lower limbs, sleep disturbance, and lower handgrip strength were significantly associated with neuropathic-like pain symptoms. In patients with handgrip strength below the reference values by sex, experiencing radiating pain and at least moderate sensory symptoms by light touch and thermal stimulation were more frequently reported. In conclusion, lower handgrip strength appeared to be an independent factor associated with symptoms suggestive of neuropathic pain in this population. Interventional studies are required to determine whether improvement in muscle strength can reduce the neuropathic pain component in chronic musculoskeletal pain.