Health Rep, Mar 18

Prevalence of chronic pain among individuals with neurological conditions.

Cragg JJ, Warner FM, Shupler MS, Jutzeler CR, Cashman N, Whitehurst DGT, Kramer JK.



The prevalence of pain among people with a variety of individual neurological conditions has been estimated. However, information is limited about chronic pain among people with neurological conditions overall, and about the conditions for which chronic pain is most prevalent. To fill these information gaps, a common method of pain assessment is required.


The data are from the Survey on Living with Neurological Conditions in Canada, a cross-sectional national survey. Based on self-reports, chronic pain was assessed for 16 neurological conditions. Multivariable logistic regression was used to produce odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Close to 1.5 million individuals aged 15 or older who lived in private households reported having been diagnosed with a neurological condition. The overall prevalence of chronic pain for the 16 neurological conditions combined was 36% (95% CI: 31% to 42%). The odds of chronic pain were significantly elevated among individuals with spinal cord trauma.


Chronic pain is highly prevalent among people with neurological conditions, particularly those with spinal cord trauma. These results suggest a need to target health services and direct research to improved pain management, and thereby reduce the burden of neurological disease.


Migraine; pain assessment; pain measurement; spinal cord diseases; spinal cord injuries.


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