Physical Function Worse for Migraine, Overlapping Pain

Worse pain-related physical function, psychosocial functioning, increased health care utilization reported for chronic migraine with overlapping pain

TUESDAY, Aug. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Patients with chronic migraine (CM) and overlapping pain have worse pain-related physical function and psychosocial functioning than those with localized CM, according to a study recently published in Headache.

Meredith J. Barad, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues extracted data from the Collaborative Health Outcomes Information Registry to characterize differences in physical and psychosocial functioning in patients with CM and those with CM and co-occurring pain conditions. The number of noncephalic areas of pain endorsed on a body map was used for 1,601 patients with CM to examine the differences in pain and physical and psychosocial function.

The researchers found that across all domains, patients endorsing more body map regions reported significantly worse symptoms and functions. Endorsement of one additional body map region correlated with a 0.69-point and 1.15-point increase in pain interference and fatigue, respectively, and a 1.21-point decrease in physical function. Approximately 5 percent more physician visits were reported by patients with more widespread pain and 22 percent more body map regions were endorsed by patients reporting adverse life events prior to age 17 years.

“Overall, this study confirms in a clinical setting what has been demonstrated in large data sets; that within CM there is a distinct subpopulation of CM plus widespread pain,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; a second author disclosed ties to TribeRx, which supports people with chronic pain.

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