Objective: To determine the frequency and intensity of shoulder pain in stroke patients and explore any relation of shoulder pain with the side of involvement and the primary etiology of stroke.
Study Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM), Rawalpindi from January 2012 to June 2012.
Material and Methods: Through non-probability convenience sampling 100 patients of both genders satisfying the World Health Organization clinical definition of stroke and reporting within one year of stroke development were included and those with cognitive dysfunction and rheumatic diseases or a history of chronic pain prior to the stroke were excluded. Shoulder pain was defined as pain in the shoulder area requiring analgesia for two or more consecutive days and its intensity was graded on visual analogue scale (VAS).
Results: Of 100 patients (mean age: 63 ± 18 years), majority were males (76%), diagnosed with ischemic stroke (80%) and had a right sided pain (44%). Patients with moderate to severe pain were more common (83.3%). On comparison with the type of stroke, the pain was more prevalent on left side (72.7%) and in patients of ischemic stroke (62.5%). However, these relations were statistically insignificant (p=0.061 and p=0.197 respectively).
Conclusion: More than half of the stroke patients reporting to our institute developed shoulder pain in first year after stroke the majority of whom had moderate to severe pain. The shoulder pain is not related to the primary etiology of stroke and side of involvement.
Shoulder pain, Stroke, Visual analogue scale.