Prevalence of musculoskeletal and balance disorders in patients enrolled in phase II cardiac rehabilitation

Kashish Goel, Jennifer Shen, Anne D. Wolter, Kathryn M. Beck, Shawn E. Leth, Randal J. Thomas, Ray W. Squires, Carmen M. Perez-Terzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal, neurological, and balance problems in patients enrolled in early outpatient (phase II) cardiac rehabilitation. METHODS: Data were assessed retrospectively for 284 consecutive patients who attended the phase II Mayo Clinic Cardiac Rehabilitation program from April 2005 to August 2006. All participants completed a questionnaire that identified the presence of musculoskeletal pain, history of falls, joint replacements, osteoporosis, neurological disorders, and difficulties in performing activities of daily living. Balance assessment was evaluated using the single leg stance and the tandem gait tests. RESULTS: Of the total study population (mean age, 62.1 ± 12.3 years), 25% reported musculoskeletal pain. A significantly higher prevalence of pain was noted in women than men (37% vs 20%, P = .004) and in those > 65 years than those ≤ 65 years (35% vs 17%, P = .001). Back (29%), knee (17%), and hip (8%) pain were the most common symptoms, in order of decreasing frequency. Pain was worse with any activity in 32% of participants while 16% of participants had worsening at night. An abnormality in balance was present in 58% of the study participants and was significantly more common in women (71%) and those > 65 years (83%). Falls or gait instability or both were reported by 11% of participants. CONCLUSION: Musculoskeletal and balance limitations are common in persons enrolled in early outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, particularly in women and patients > 65 years. Cardiac rehabilitation programs should screen patients for musculoskeletal limitations and incorporate adaptations for treatment strategies of such patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-239
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • balance problems
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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