Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Jun;30(6):831-6. doi: 10.1007/s10067-011-1687-4. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Assessment of cervical pain and function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

Division of Rheumatology, Federal University of São Paulo, Rua Botucatu 740, 04023-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by inflammation of the synovial membrane, which can lead to deformities and functional disability. Unlike the dorsal and lumbar spine, the cervical spine is often affected by RA. The objective of this paper is to assess cervical pain and function in patients with RA and correlate these variables with overall function, quality of life, and radiographic findings on the cervical spine. One hundred individuals aged 18 to 65 years were divided into study group (50 patients with rheumatoid arthritis) and control group (50 healthy individuals, paired for gender and age). Patients with prior surgery, prior trauma or other symptomatic cervical spine condition were excluded. The visual analogue pain scale (VAS), Neck Pain and Disability Scale (NPDS), SF-36, HAQ and X-rays were used for evaluation purposes. Mean disease duration was 11.1 years. The cervical VAS was 2.4 cm and 1.3 cm for the study and control groups, respectively (p = 0.074). Statistical differences were found in NPDS scores, mean = 26.7 and 6.9, and HAQ scores, mean = 1.1 and 0.1, for the study and control groups, respectively (p < 0.001). SF-36 scores were statistically worse in the study group, except for the vitality, social aspects and mental health subscales. There was a positive correlation between the NPDS and VAS (r = 0.54) and between the NPDS and HAQ (r = 0.67). There was a negative correlation between the NPDS and SF-36 functional capacity domain (r = -0.53) and physical limitation domain (r = -0.58). The radiographic findings revealed more prevalent anterior atlanto-axial subluxation (p = 0.030), listhesis in neutral posture (p = 0.037), listhesis in extension (p = 0.007), degenerative alteration of C4-C5 segment (p = 0.023), size of C2 spinal canal (p = 0.002) and C3 spinal canal (p = 0.029) in the study group. Patients with RA have poorer cervical function than healthy individuals, although there is no difference in cervical pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center