The Role of Psychological Stress in the Development of Chronic Pain Syndrome in Patients with Osteoarthrosis

Alexander V. Karnitsky, PhD¹*, Dmitry Y. Sagin²

¹Omsk State Medical Academy, Omsk, Russian Federation

²Center of Rehabilitation Therapy "Rus",Omsk, Russian Federation

Corresponding author: Alexander V. Karnitsky, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Omsk State Medical Academy. 1, Leningradskaya sq., apt. 102, 644010, Omsk, Russian Federation. Tel: 7-905-9424103. Fax: 7-3812-65972. E-mail:


Background: Osteoarthrosis has been identified as the commonest cause of chronic pain. Chronic pain syndrome significantly limits the functionality of patients with osteoarthrosis and reduces their quality of life. Besides the organic changes in the joints, a large part of the development of chronic pain is due to psychological factors. Psychological stress can manifest itself as neuropsychic tension and negative emotional experiences. Psychological stress is accepted today as an important factor leading to the development of chronic pain syndrome in patients with joint disorders. The purpose of this study is to identify and assess the severity of psychological stress in those patients with osteoarthrosiss and chronic pain syndrome in the Rehabilitation Department.

Methods: The study included 50 patients, ranging in age from 24 to 73 years (the average age being 58 years), suffering with osteoarthrosis, showing degeneration of the lower extremities (coxarthrosis, gonarthrosis). All the patients underwent x-rays of the affected joints. Joint mobility was assessed by the orthopedist. Assessment of the pain syndrome was conducted, both at the time of admission and at discharge, on the digital and visual analog scales. Right at the beginning of treatment psychological testing was performed using the PSM-25 questionnaire. (The scale of PSM-25 is designed to measure the nature of the stress experienced. It is a translation and adaptation of the Russian version of testing techniques performed by N.E.Vodopyanova).

Results: The presence of a statistically significant correlation between the psychological stress levels and the intensity of pain syndrome in patients with osteoarthrosiss in the Rehabilitation Department was observed.

Conclusions: Psychological stress is one of the important factors leading to the development of chronic pain syndrome in patients with osteoarthrosis.

stress; psychological; pain; osteoarthrosis.
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Int J Biomed. 2011;1(2):84-86.© 2011 International Medical Research and Development Corporation. All rights reserved.