Original Article

Korean J Pain 2015; 28(2): 129-136

Published online May 1, 2015 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2015.28.2.129

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

Evaluation of Pain and Its Effect on Quality of Life and Functioning in Men with Spinal Cord Injury

Marzieh Hassanijirdehi1, Mohammad Khak1, Sohrab Afshari-Mirak1, Kourosh Holakouie-Naieni2, Soheil Saadat3, Taher Taheri4, and Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar3,5*

1Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran, Iran.

3Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center (STSRC), Tehran University Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4Shafa Neuroscience Research Center, Khatam-Ol-Anbia Hospital, Tehran, Iran.

5Department of Neurosurgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Correspondence to: Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar. Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center (STSRC), Department of Neurosurgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 1417614411, Iran. Tel: +982166757010, Fax: +982166757009, v_rahimi@sina.tums.ac.ir

Received: September 3, 2014; Revised: December 24, 2014; Accepted: December 24, 2014

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Pain is one of the most important consequences of spinal cord injury (SCI). It may affect several aspects of life, especially the quality of life (QoL). Hence, this study was conducted to establish an understanding of pain and its correlates and effects on patients with SCI in our community.


In a cross-sectional study, 58 male veterans suffering from SCI were admitted to our center for a regular follow-up. Demographic and SCI-related descriptive information were gathered using a self-reported questionnaire. To evaluate the patients' pain quality and the effect of pain on daily life, a questionnaire in 3 parts of lumbar, cervical and shoulder pain was administered. EuroQoL questionnaire and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) 12 were also used to assess the patients' QoL.


The mean age of the participants was 45.91 ± 6.69 with mean injury time of 25.54 ± 5.91. forty-four patients (75.9%) reported pain, including lumbar pain (63%), cervical pain (39%) and shoulder pain (51%). The presence of pain was associated with lower QoL. Patients with lumbar pain reported a significant amount of pain affecting their daily life and this effect was higher in patients with lower GHQ score or anxiety/depressive disorder.


Musculoskeletal pain, is a common complaint in veterans with SCI and is inversely associated with functioning and general health status. Lumbar and shoulder pain affects patient's daily living more than cervical pain.

Keywords: Anxiety, Back pain, Depressive disorder, Musculoskeletal pain, Neck pain, Quality of life, Questionnaires, Shoulder pain, Spinal cord injury