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Original Article

The Korean Journal of Pain 2020; 33(1): 90-96

Published online January 1, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2020.33.1.90

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

The phenomenology of pain in Parkinson’s disease

José Antonio Camacho-Conde1 and Víctor Manuel Campos-Arillo2

1Department of Psychobiology and Methodology of Behavioral Sciences, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain
2Movement Disorders Unit, Vithas Xanit International Hospital, Benalmadena, Spain

Correspondence to:José Antonio Camacho-Conde
Department of Psychobiology and Methodology of Behavioral Sciences, University of Malaga, Campus de Teatinos, Bulevar Louis Pasteur, 25, 29071 Malaga, Spain
Tel: +34-952-137-279
Fax: +34-952-137-270
E-mail: jacamacho@uma.es

José Antonio Camacho-Conde’s current affiliation: Department of Medicine and Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain

Received: September 2, 2019; Revised: November 28, 2019; Accepted: December 2, 2019

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.

Abstract

Background

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is the second most common disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. PD includes both “motor” and “non-motor” symptoms, one of which is pain. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics of pain in patients with PD.

Methods

This cross-sectional study included 250 patients diagnosed with PD, 70% of which had mild to moderate PD (stages 2/3 of Hoehn and Yahr scale). The average age was 67.4 years, and the average duration since PD diagnosis was 7.1 years. Relevant data collected from PD patients were obtained from their personal medical history.

Results

The prevalence of pain was found to be high (82%), with most patients (79.2%) relating their pain to PD. Disease duration was correlated with the frequency of intense pain (R: 0.393; P < 0.05). PD pain is most frequently perceived as an electrical current (64%), and two pain varieties were most prevalent (2.60 ± 0.63). Our findings confirm links between pain, its evolution over time, its multi-modal character, the wide variety of symptoms of PD, and the female sex.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrated that the pain felt by PD patients is mainly felt as an electrical current, which contrasts with other studies where the pain is described as burning and itching. Our classification is innovative because it is based on anatomy, whereas those of other authors were based on syndromes.

Keywords: Cross-Sectional Studies, Dopaminergic Neurons, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Pain, Pain Measurement, Parkinson Disease, Prevalence, Syndrome