Navigation Links
Chronic Pain Trips Up Seniors
Date:11/24/2009

Discomfort contributes to the falls that plague older adults, study finds,,

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Falls are a leading cause of death among older Americans, and new research confirms that chronic pain contributes to those accidents.

"Pain contributes to functional decline and muscle weakness, and is associated with mobility limitations that could predispose to fall," the study authors wrote.

"Chronic pain, no matter how we measured it, was associated with an increased likelihood of falls," said lead researcher Suzanne G. Leveille, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the University of Massachusetts. "Pain has not traditionally been thought of as a risk factor for falls."

Health-care costs associated with falls account for more than $19 billion each year, but the role pain plays in those falls was not explored before, the authors said.

Based on these findings, Leveille thinks that pain should be a factor in assessing the risk for falls. She also said effective pain management might reduce the risk of falls.

Patients should discuss pain and falling with their doctor and work out a plan to prevent falling, she added.

For the study, published in the Nov. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Leveille's team asked 749 people, aged 70 and older, about any pain they suffered. The participants also kept a record of each time they fell.

At the start of the study, 40 percent of the participants said they suffered from chronic pain in more than one joint, and 24 percent had pain in only one joint.

During 18 months of follow-up, there were 1,029 falls. More than half (55 percent) reported falling at least once.

Those people who had pain in more than one joint were more likely to fall, compared with people who reported no pain or minimum pain. Severe pain and pain that affected participants' ability to do daily activities also made falls more likely, the researchers found.

In addition, having pain in one month made falling in the next month likely. People who reported severe pain in one month had a 77 percent increased risk of falling the next month. Even people reporting very mild pain were more likely to fall the following month, the group found.

The authors noted that the neuromuscular effects of pain could cause leg muscle weakness or slow neuromuscular responses to a loss of balance. Attempts to ease pain by changing gait may also cause balance problems, and chronic pain may be a huge distraction, making people less aware of hazards, according to the report.

Pain tends to be thought of as part of growing old, Leveille said. "People tend to be dismissive of it, but this study shows that it may not be such a minor thing. There could be some very serious hazards related to chronic pain," she noted.

Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging, welcomed the findings. "This study shows us the importance of recognizing that pain typically has a cost associated with it, as it may be a symptom of a greater issue that, in this case, if left unattended can have serious consequences."

Health professionals, fitness and wellness professionals now have another tool in creating fall reduction programs, Milner said. "Now, if they have not before, they may have a better understanding of how pain impacts many systems in the body and how these can impact falls," he said.

"If we look at the population as a whole, the number of people with pain is significant," Milner added. "This study shows that addressing this pain early is not only preventative in nature, but cost-effective, as the long-term costs associated with falls is significant."

More information

For more information on falls, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Suzanne G. Leveille, Ph.D., R.N., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and University of Massachusetts-Boston; Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Nov. 25, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Johns Hopkins researchers track down protein responsible for chronic rhinosinusitis with polyps
2. GetSynchronicity Announces New Website Launch
3. Nutra Pharma Introduces Chronic Pain Reliever, Nyloxin OTC, for International Distribution
4. Albireo Announces Positive Clinical Data on A3309 in Patients with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation
5. NYC Chiropractor Adds New Therapy for Chronic Back, Neck and Joint Pain to Downtown Practice
6. 7th International Chronic Total Occlusion Summit in New York City
7. Abbott to Acquire Novel Investigational Biologic to Treat Chronic Pain
8. Acceptance of Chronic Illness Helps People Move On
9. Chronic Illness: Estate Planning
10. Reduction in glycotoxins from heat-processing of foods reduces risk of chronic disease
11. U-M Research Shows Chronically Ill Patients Might Be Happier if They Give Up Hope
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical associate professor ... prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health Conference. The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton ... staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on ... Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud to ... unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and awareness ... VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare ... scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare ... activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor ... on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning ... innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/23/2017)... Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today that ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Biologics ... treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ... needed to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab in ... "We are disappointed ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Ky. , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ... predictive analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was ... solution for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds ... Black Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... PARIS and NEW YORK , Sept. 12, ... ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, has published the first annual ... the CSR performance of more than 20,400 companies evaluated by EcoVadis, based ... years 2015 and 2016. ... EcoVadis Global CSR Risk & Performance Index ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: