Sex-based differences in pain distribution in a cohort of patients with persistent post-traumatic neck pain
Journal article, 2018

OBJECTIVES: To analyze a cohort of 745 consecutive patients referred to a regional specialist clinic for evaluation of post-traumatic neck pain during a five-year period. METHODS: A cross-sectional observational study of baseline assessments performed by multi-professional rehabilitation teams according to a standardized checklist. RESULTS: The cohort contained nearly twice as many females as males (64% versus 36%). The type of injury did not differ between sexes. Of the entire cohort, 38% were diagnosed with widespread pain, 50% with regional pain, and 12% with local pain. The pain distribution among the females was 43% widespread, 48% regional, and 9% local, and corresponding figures among males were 29%, 53%, and 18%. Longer time between trauma and assessment did not affect pain distribution among the men, but a tendency towards more widespread pain was observed among the women. DISCUSSION: The importance of "female sex" as risk factor for the development of persistent pain after neck trauma needs to be discussed further. The high frequency of regional and widespread pain among patients with persistent neck pain after trauma calls for both multidisciplinary assessments and treatment strategies. The relationships between different pain distribution patterns, disability, activity, and psychological factors need to be studied further. Implications for rehabilitation Patients suffering from pain and disability after neck trauma constitute a significant proportion of patients with persistent pain. The importance of the risk factor "female sex" should be further discussed in the development of persistent pain after neck trauma. The high frequency of regional and widespread pain among patients with persistent neck pain after trauma calls both for multidisciplinary assessments and treatment strategies. The relationships between different pain distribution patterns, disability, activity, and psychological factors need to be studied further.

Whiplash trauma

persistent pain

pain distribution

sex characteristics

gender differences

Author

Hans Westergren

Skåne University Hospital

Lund University

Johan Larsson

Skåne University Hospital

Michael Freeman

Anna K Carlsson

SAFER, The Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Vehicle Safety

Anna Jöud

Lund University

Eva-Maj Malmström

Skåne University Hospital

Lund University

Disability and Rehabilitation

0963-8288 (ISSN) 1464-5165 (eISSN)

Vol. 40 9 1085-1091

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Transport

Subject Categories

Clinical Medicine

Roots

Basic sciences

DOI

10.1080/09638288.2017.1280543

PubMed

28129693

More information

Latest update

3/11/2019