Aging with a disability: Physical impairment, pain, and fatigue

Eva Widerström-Noga, Marcia L. Finlayson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This article focuses on the role of pain and fatigue in aging people who have physical impairments and provides a brief summary of definitions, descriptions, and classifications of pain and fatigue; implications of these secondary conditions on the health and functioning; multidisciplinary assessment and treatment options; and critical gaps in knowledge and directions for future research. Central nervous system trauma, diseases of the nervous system, and degenerative muscle diseases often result in significant physical impairments and disability. People who are living and aging with these underlying medical conditions often experience pain and fatigue secondary to their physical impairment that may worsen over time, resulting in increased disability and decreased quality of life. Important areas for future research in persons who have physical impairments include identification of conditions that require age-specific considerations; identification of symptom clusters (eg, pain, fatigue, depression) and how they evolve over time; and development of interdisciplinary treatment protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-337
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2010


  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Physical impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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