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The frequency of neuropathic pain in Turkish patients with low back pain: a cross-sectional study

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of neuropathic pain (NP) in patients with low back pain (LBP) and the relationship of NP with demographic characteristics and pain duration. Four hundred and forty patients were evaluated with respect to NP. Demographic data were collected and Douleur Neuropathique 4 Questions (DN4) questionnaire was used to identify NP. Any difference in demographic characteristics or duration of pain was investigated between the patients with and without NP. Sociodemographic factors which are independently associated with NP were analyzed. According to DN4, 43.9% of the patients had NP. Mean age of the patients was 44.8 years (± 13.7). 343 (77.9%) of the patients had chronic LBP (more than 3 months). The patients with NP were older (p < 0.001), had higher BMI (p = 0.005) and longer LBP duration (p < 0.001) and had lower educational level (p 0.018). NP was significantly more common in unemployed patients and less common in high-activity employees (p 0.001). Logistic regression analyses identified that high-active workers’ risk of having NP was 1.76 times lesser than other groups (office workers, housewives and retired patients). Nearly half of the patients with LBP were accompanied by NP. It was remarkably more common in sedentary patients and patients with low socioeconomic status. High physical activity at work was found to decrease the risk of having NP. Clinicians should emphasize on exercise training as a therapeutic intervention while LBP is being treated.

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Correspondence to Kevser Gumussu.

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All procedures performed in this study are in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

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Erhan, B., Gumussu, K., Kara, B. et al. The frequency of neuropathic pain in Turkish patients with low back pain: a cross-sectional study. Acta Neurol Belg (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-020-01285-7

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  • Neuropathic pain
  • Prevalence
  • Low back pain
  • DN4