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Prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population

Prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population
Prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population
Objective: To determine the prevalence, interrelation, and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population.
Methods: A total of 9,696 randomly selected adults of working age were surveyed in a 2-stage cross-sectional study involving a screening questionnaire and a standardized physical examination in symptomatic subjects. Age- and sex-specific prevalence rates were estimated for several musculoskeletal disorders and for nonspecific pain in the upper limbs. The overlap and impact on daily activities and healthcare utilization were explored.
Results: Among 6,038 first-stage responders, 3,152 reported upper limb symptoms and 1,960 were subsequently examined. Of subjects with pain, 44.8% had 1 or more specific soft-tissue disorders. Site-specific prevalence rates were as follows: shoulder tendinitis 4.5% among men and 6.1% among women; adhesive capsulitis 8.2% among men and 10.1% among women; lateral epicondylitis 1.3% among men and 1.1% among women; de Quervain's disease 0.5% among men and 1.3% among women; other tenosynovitis of the hand or wrist, 1.1% among men and 2.2% among women. Specific disorders tended to cluster (P < 0.001) in individuals, with particular overlap at the shoulder. Compared with subjects with nonspecific pain, those with specific disorders more often reported inability to perform everyday tasks (P < 0.05), consultation with a doctor (P < 0.05), and use of prescribed medication (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Upper limb pain is common in the general population and is often associated with physical signs suggestive of specific upper-limb disorders. These disorders have a substantial impact on physical function and use of health care.
epidemiology, upper limb disorders, soft-tissue rheumatism, prevalence, impact
0004-3591
642-651
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Palmer, Keith T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Reading, Isabel
6f832276-87b7-4a76-a9ed-b4b3df0a3f66
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Palmer, Keith T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Reading, Isabel
6f832276-87b7-4a76-a9ed-b4b3df0a3f66
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6

Walker-Bone, Karen, Palmer, Keith T., Reading, Isabel, Coggon, David and Cooper, Cyrus (2004) Prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 51 (4), 642-651. (doi:10.1002/art.20535).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence, interrelation, and impact of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb in the general population.
Methods: A total of 9,696 randomly selected adults of working age were surveyed in a 2-stage cross-sectional study involving a screening questionnaire and a standardized physical examination in symptomatic subjects. Age- and sex-specific prevalence rates were estimated for several musculoskeletal disorders and for nonspecific pain in the upper limbs. The overlap and impact on daily activities and healthcare utilization were explored.
Results: Among 6,038 first-stage responders, 3,152 reported upper limb symptoms and 1,960 were subsequently examined. Of subjects with pain, 44.8% had 1 or more specific soft-tissue disorders. Site-specific prevalence rates were as follows: shoulder tendinitis 4.5% among men and 6.1% among women; adhesive capsulitis 8.2% among men and 10.1% among women; lateral epicondylitis 1.3% among men and 1.1% among women; de Quervain's disease 0.5% among men and 1.3% among women; other tenosynovitis of the hand or wrist, 1.1% among men and 2.2% among women. Specific disorders tended to cluster (P < 0.001) in individuals, with particular overlap at the shoulder. Compared with subjects with nonspecific pain, those with specific disorders more often reported inability to perform everyday tasks (P < 0.05), consultation with a doctor (P < 0.05), and use of prescribed medication (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Upper limb pain is common in the general population and is often associated with physical signs suggestive of specific upper-limb disorders. These disorders have a substantial impact on physical function and use of health care.

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More information

Published date: August 2004
Keywords: epidemiology, upper limb disorders, soft-tissue rheumatism, prevalence, impact
Organisations: Community Clinical Sciences, Dev Origins of Health & Disease

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24543
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24543
ISSN: 0004-3591
PURE UUID: ff94c686-f3a4-4f3c-abf1-212fb311eae0
ORCID for Karen Walker-Bone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-1459
ORCID for Isabel Reading: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1457-6532
ORCID for David Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 31 Mar 2006
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:02

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Contributors

Author: Keith T. Palmer
Author: Isabel Reading ORCID iD
Author: David Coggon ORCID iD
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD

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