Table 3

What to ask in clinical practice? Four prognostic factors belonging to four frequent musculoskeletal pain types in general practice: General musculoskeletal pain, low back pain, neck pain and knee pain. The questions are proposals towards assessment of prognosis on musculoskeletal pain

General musculoskeletal painLow back painNeck painKnee pain
Prognostic factors
  • Female sex and female smokers.

  • Day tiredness/fatigue.

  • Physical activity versus none.

  • Depressive symptoms.

  • Higher lumbar mobility.*

  • Longer pain duration.

  • Peer problems.

  • Smoking.

  • Female sex.

  • Depressive symptoms.

  • Multisite pain versus localised.

  • Day tiredness.

  • Increasing age.

  • Daily pain.

  • Sport >2 t/week.

  • Low quality of life.

Questions
  • Do you smoke?(F).

  • Do you feel tired during the day?

  • Do you do sport?

  • Are you feeling mentally well?

  • Clinical examination.

  • How long have you had pain?

  • Do you have friends/do you experience bullying?

  • Do you smoke?

  • Are you feeling mentally well?

  • Do you have pain in more than one musculoskeletal region?

  • Do you feel tired during the day?

  • Do you experience daily pain.

  • Do you do practice sport frequently?

  • How are things at school and at home?†

  • *To be evaluated by clinical examination.

  • †This question is a suggestion for use in evaluation of quality of life.

  • F, female patients.