Korean J Spine.  2009 Mar;6(1):22-26.

Relationship of Pain and Anger in Patients with Back or Neck Pain

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan-Si, Korea. ksleens@hotmail.com


Suppressing the verbal expression of anger is related to increased pain severity. We investigated the relationship between the pain and anger using a questionnaire in patients with back or neck pain. From August 2007 to January 2008, 173 patients visited our hospital due to back and/or neck pain. They answered the questionnaire before physical examination by themselves. Visual analog scale(VAS) was used to measure the intensity of the pain. The same method was used to measure the intensity and frequency of the anger. We also asked the degree of sleep disturbance, fatigue, loss of appetite, and mood. Psychological disturbances were relatively common; moderate to severe sleep disturbance in 66%, fatigue in 79%, loss of appetite in 55%, and depressed mood in 86%. More than a half answered their anger was moderate to severe in both frequency and degree. All psychological factors appeared to be strong contributors to the intensity of pain by a linear regression analysis. More than a half of the patients with back or neck pain have significant psychological problems. Proper evaluation and management of those psychological factors are important.


Back pain; Neck pain; Anger; Fatigue; Sleep
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