The prevalence, characteristics and impact of chronic pain in people with muscular dystrophies: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published: 7 April 2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/cfbskh2xn8.2
Meihuan Huang, Nico Magni, David Rice


Chronic pain is a frequent, yet under-recognised and under-assessed problem in people with muscular dystrophies (MDs). Knowledge of the prevalence and characteristics of chronic pain, and its impact on function and quality of life is limited and lacks systematic exploration. This article aims to systematically review and synthesise existing literature that addresses chronic pain prevalence, characteristics and impact in people with different types of MDs. The present meta-analysis showed that the estimated prevalence of chronic pain in MDs is high and similar across different diagnostic groups: 68% in FSHD, 65% in DM, 62% in BMD/DMD, and 60% in LGMD. On average, people with FSHD and DM present with moderate pain intensity. The lumbar spine, shoulders and legs are the most frequent sites of chronic pain among people with FSHD, DM, BMD/DMD, and LGMD, with little variation. Diffuse pain across multiple body sites was reported by a notable proportion of these individuals. Chronic pain has a negative impact on daily life activities in people with MDs, and may also contribute to decreased quality of life.


Steps to reproduce

The protocol for this review has been published on PROSPERO (CRD42020168096).


Auckland University of Technology


Chronic Pain, Muscular Dystrophy