Mental health articles

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Pain and Fatigue

Thompson (2004) identified pain, fatigue, and weakness as common problems occurring among people with cerebral palsy, post polio, and spinal cord injury.Pain may result in the overuse of some joints in the case of wheel chair users or may result from spastic muscles that pull on joints. Turk (2009) reviewed the health status of adults with cerebral palsy and found their health was generally good. Pain, however, was reported to be the most consistent health problems reported by adults with CP. Pain is associated with increased spasticity, weakness,falls, or progression of contractures, especially in the back. Charlifue,Lammertse and Adkins (2004) reviewed a numbers of studies regarding the health of adults with spinal cord injury and found the prevalence of pain to be as high as 79%. Capoor and Stein (2005) note the association of chronic pain withpoorer mobility, greater disability, and greater perceived emotional stress.McColl, Charlifue, Glass, Lawson, and Savic (2004) found that men and women reported pain at the same rates, although women were more likely to report pain interfering with sleep. Chronic pain is associated with traumatic brain injury(Gironde, Clark, Ruff, Chait, Craine,Walker, & Scholten) among workingaged adults. That pain may continue to middle and old age (Osterweis, Kleinman,& Mechanic, 1987).

Thompson identifies three kinds of fatigue: central, peripheral and mental.Central fatigue is defined as a general lack of energy, or feeling tired or exhausted.Peripheral fatigue refers to muscle weakness or endurance, and mental fatigue refers to the inability to focus, concentrate, or stay alert. Fatigue may occur becauseof the amount of energy expended to carry our most activities, or it may result from lack of sleep, perhaps associated with pain.

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