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Knee Problems Often Linked to Pain Elsewhere in the Body
Knee pain is not just a pain in the knee
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The team of researchers recently set out to examine how often knee pain is accompanied by pain elsewhere in the body and whether the presence of multiple joint pain affects older patients' general health and psychological status.
Scientists surveyed a total of 5,364 patients aged 50 years or older who were registered with three general practices in North Staffordshire, UK. Each participant completed a questionnaire that included a body manikin on which they shaded any areas where they had experienced pain for one or more days during the last month.
A standard health survey used to determine the influence of pain elsewhere on general health was also completed, as well as an index to measure pain and disability specifically related to the knee. Obesity, anxiety and depression, all of which are linked to widespread pain, were also measured using various scales.
The results indicate that knee pain does not tend to occur by itself, and that when it occurs with pain in other regions, it is associated with poorer general and psychological health. The results suggest a link between the extent of pain in the body and the impact of pain in a particular region. It was shown that knee-specific pain and disability are actually worse in the presence of pains elsewhere than the knee, even after accounting for poorer psychological health.
- The study was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism