Ever feel like one pain leads to another? Well, you're right. A study just released today and reported in the most recent issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology found that that patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee who also have pain in other joints were more likely to experience greater knee pain. This includes pain in the lower back, as well as foot and elbow pain all affecting the same side of the body as the troubling knee pain.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is extremely common, Nearly 4.3 million adults over age 60 complain of painful knee symptoms according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC. The results of the current study team led by Pradeep Suri, M.D., from Harvard Medical School, New England Baptist Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts used data provided by individuals from the Osteoarthritis Initiative showed that 57.4% of the participants reported having pain in their lower back. The researchers discovered that low back pain was significantly associated with an increase in the level of knee pain. In the study, severe foot pain and elbow pain were significantly associated with a higher knee pain score.
Researchers also determined that having more than one pain location, regardless of the site, was associated with a higher knee pain score. In participants with four or five pain locations the severity of knee pain was even higher. Our findings show that pain in the low back, foot and elbow may be associated with greater knee pain, confirming that symptomatic knee osteoarthritis rarely occurs in isolation. Future studies are needed to determine whether treatment of pain occurring elsewhere in the body will improve therapy outcomes for knee OA, Dr. Suri concluded.
Robin Westen writes about health for national magazine.
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