Are chronic musculoskeletal pain and generalized joint hypermobility disabling contributors to physical functioning?

Thijs VAN Meulenbroek, Ivan P Huijnen, Raoul H Engelbert, Jeanine A Verbunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP), Generalized Joint Hypermobility (GJH) and pain-related fear have influence on physical functioning in adolescents.

AIM: to evaluate differences in physical functioning between adolescents with CMP, GJH or the combination of both, and in addition evaluate the potential contribution of pain-related fear.

DESIGN: The design of this study was observational and cross-sectional.

SETTING: The adolescents with CMP were recruited by a physician in rehabilitation medicine and measured in the university outpatient rehabilitation clinic (Adelante/Maastricht University Medical Center+, the Netherlands). The adolescents without CMP were recruited in the Southern area of the Netherlands and measured in the university outpatient rehabilitation clinic (Adelante/Maastricht University Medical Center+, the Netherlands).

POPULATION: Four subgroups of adolescents were included; 21 adolescents with CMP without GJH, 9 adolescents with CMP and GJH, 51 adolescents without CMP without GJH, and 11 adolescents without CMP with GJH.

METHODS: Outcome measures were muscle strength and endurance, motor performance, physical activity level, and pain-related fear. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to study differences in physical functioning and the contribution of pain-related fear in adolescents with/without CMP as well as with/without GJH.

RESULTS: Adolescents with CMP had decreased muscle strength (P=0.01), endurance (P=0.02), and lower motor performance (P<0.01) compared to adolescents without CMP. Higher levels of pain-related fear were related to decreased muscle strength (P=0.01), endurance (P<0.01), and motor performance (P<0.01). No differences in physical functioning and pain-related fear between hypermobile and non-hypermobile adolescents with CMP were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with CMP had decreased muscle strength and motor performance associated with increased levels of pain-related fear compared to adolescents without CMP. The association of being hypermobile with physical functioning is not more pronounced in adolescents with CMP.

CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: No differences were found in physical functioning and pain-related fear between hypermobile adolescents with CMP compared to non-hypermobile adolescents with CMP. Future rehabilitation treatment in hypermobile adolescents with CMP should also focus on psychological components, such as pain-related fear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-757
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine
Volume57
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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