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Eur J Pain. 2012 Sep;16(8):1128-36. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2012.00123.x. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

Pain following stroke: a prospective study.

Author information

1
Danish Pain Research Center, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. anne.hansen@ki.au.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Post-stroke pain is common and affects the quality of life of stroke survivors, but the incidence and severity of headache, shoulder pain, other joint pain and central post-stroke pain following stroke still remain unclear. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the incidence and intensity of these different types of post-stroke pain.

METHODS:

A total of 299 consecutive stroke patients, admitted to the Department of Neurology at Aarhus University Hospital, underwent a structured interview and a short sensory examination within 4 days of admission. Follow-up was conducted by phone 3 and 6 months after stroke onset, with 275 patients completing the whole study. Pain with onset in relation to stroke onset or following stroke was defined as 'newly developed pain'.

RESULTS:

At the 6-month follow-up, newly developed pain was reported by 45.8% of the patients; headache by 13.1%, shoulder pain by 16.4%, other joint pain by 11.7%, other pain by 20.0% and evoked pain by light touch or thermal stimuli by 8.0%. More than one pain type was reported by 36.5% of the patients with newly developed pain. According to pre-defined criteria, 10.5% of the patients were classified as having possible central post-stroke pain. There was a moderate to severe impact on daily life in 33.6% of the patients with newly developed pain.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pain following stroke is common, with almost half of the patients reporting newly developed pain 6 months after stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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