Pathophysiological implications of the illness and the medications used to treat PAH may have a negative impact on the musculoskeletal system. For a study, researchers sought to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and its influence on the quality of life (QoL) and exercise ability in patients with PAH. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was used to assess the presence of musculoskeletal pain, the EmPHasis-10 and the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) for QoL, the 6-min walk test (6MWT) for functional exercise capacity, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire- Short Form (IPAQ-SF) for physical activity participation in 61 patients with PAH.
Pain in the musculoskeletal system was experienced by 77% of PAH patients. The pain was most common in the low back (38%), knees (36%), shoulders (36%), and neck (33%). Pain presence in diverse regions of the body was linked to hemodynamic indications of PAH severity. Patients who received any PAH-specific medicine were more likely to feel discomfort than patients who had not yet begun pharmacological therapy (RR=1.6–2.0). Pain in the neck, shoulder, low back, and knees was substantially associated with worse QoL ratings in both EmPHasis-10 and MLHFQ (P<0.05). The presence of pain in the knees had the greatest impact on QoL and was the only significant correlate of 6MWT (r=0.424) and IPAQ-SF (r=0.264) (P<0.05). Musculoskeletal discomfort is a prevalent complaint among patients with PAH, and it has a negative impact on QoL and physical performance. Treatment techniques should involve a more extensive examination of these patients’ musculoskeletal pain complaints and addressing pain present accordingly, which may aid in providing better treatment for PAH.