The purpose of this study was to describe the pain experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom veterans with and without a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) who present to polytrauma clinics for evaluation and management. We sought to evaluate the relationship between a veteran–s history of mTBI and posttraumatic stress (PTS) on axial pain, headaches, and pain interference. We performed a retrospective chart review of 529 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans referred for evaluation. Problems with headache, low back, and neck pain were frequently endorsed. There were statistically significant differences between the mTBI groups on PTS symptom endorsement, and PTS was predictive of pain experience and interference. A history of mTBI with loss of consciousness predicted headache pain, but otherwise did not predict pain or pain interference. PTS was strongly related to the pain experience. Implications for evaluation and management of pain in this complex population are discussed.
Volume 49 Number 7, 2012
Pages 1127 — 1136
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Romesser J, Booth J, Benge J, Pastorek N, Helmer D. Mild traumatic brain injury and pain in Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring freedom veterans. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(7):1127-36.
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