Musculoskeletal pain reported by mobile patients with chronic kidney disease

Stig Mølsted, Inge Eidemak


Background: Musculoskeletal pain has been reported as a clinical problem in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The purpose of this study was to compare the frequency of musculoskeletal pain in patients with CKD and no mobility problems with a general population and to investigate the impact of pain on quality of life (QOL), physical activity and physical function.

Methods: Patients with CKD Stages 4 and 5 with or without a dialysis treatment and no mobility problems were included. Musculoskeletal pain in the shoulder/neck, back/low back and limbs and level of physical activity were measured using the Danish Health and Morbidity Survey and coded into dichotomous answers. QOL and physical function were measured using the kidney disease QOL questionnaire and the 30-s chair stand test, respectively. Data for the general population were collected in national registers and adjusted for age, gender and region.

Results: The patients ( n  = 539) had a mean age of 66 [95% confidence interval (CI) 65-67] years, 62% were men and they were treated with haemodialysis (HD) ( n  = 281), peritoneal dialysis ( n  = 62) or without dialysis ( n  = 196). The frequency of reported musculoskeletal pain in the patients did not exceed pain reported by the general population [e.g. pain in the limbs in patients undergoing HD versus a matched general population, 61% versus 63% (P = 0.533), respectively]. Pain in all measured body sites was associated with reduced QOL [e.g. pain in the limbs associated with a physical component scale β of -8.2 (95% CI -10.3 to -6.0), P < 0.001]. Pain in the limbs was associated with a reduced number of repetitions in the 30-s chair stand test [mean -1.7 (95% CI -3.0 to -0.4), P = 0.009]. Pain in the shoulder/neck was associated with reduced odds of being physically active [odds ratio 0.6 (95% CI 0.4 to 0.9); P = 0.022].

Conclusions: Musculoskeletal pain was not more frequently reported by patients with CKD and no mobility problems compared with the general population. However, as musculoskeletal pain was reported by up to two-thirds of the patient sample, healthcare professionals should remember to focus on this issue. The patients' pain was associated with negative impacts on QOL, level of physical activity and physical function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCKJ: Clinical Kidney Journal
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)813-820
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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