Does Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Predispose the Severity and Probability of the Neuropathic Component of Back Pain? A Crosssectional Study

Aditi Mukhopadhyay and Subhanu Sekhar Roy Chowdhury

Introduction: Back pain and GAD are very common among housewives across the globe. Various pathophysiological factors can deteriorate the prognosis and diagnosis of back pain, among which neuropathic component is notable. The present study explored whether GAD increases the perception and severity of neuropathic component of back pain.

Methods: Forty-eight housewives were included in this study. The participants had at least 5 years’ experience of household work. Cross-sectional data was collected to Subjective and objective detection of back pain was done through the VAS Scale and the Pain Detect Tool respectively. GAD scores were differentially detected with the GAD 7 tool. The clinical and medication history of the participants were noted through structured- interview sessions in presence of a pain specialist.

Results: The results showed that, about one-half of the participants exhibited a neuropathic pain. GAD was shown to significantly increase the odds of severity and perception of neuropathic pain among the participants. A majority of the subjects reported that they did not receive any medications for pain relief with analgesic therapy. The regression analysis reflected that, addition of GABA-agonists and anxiolytics resulted in non-significant perception of pain on the VAS scale.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that appropriate medication could significantly reduce the perception of back pain (on VAS scale) in GAD-affected women. The study voiced the need for personalized medicine in managing back pain across patients affected with psychopathic comorbidity.