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Association between musculoskeletal pain and trips or falls in rural Japanese community-dwelling older adults: A cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Aim

The present study examined whether low back pain (LBP) and knee pain (KP) are associated with trips and falls in rural Japanese community-dwelling older adults.

Methods

A population-based cross-sectional survey of community-dwelling older adults was carried out in Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture, in Japan. A total of 499 men and women aged 60 years and older living in the community were recruited from 2008 to 2010. The main outcome measures were self-rated recent trip frequency and self-reported experience of falls in the past year.

Results

Trips and falls presented in 44.0% and 15.9% of participants, respectively. LBP was not associated with trips, but was significantly associated with falls: severe pain versus single fall (odds ratio [OR] 2.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04–6.03); and severe pain versus multiple falls (OR 11.09, 95% CI 2.41–51.10). KP was significantly associated with trips: mild pain versus trips (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.20–2.72); mild pain versus multiple falls (OR 4.47, 95% CI 1.21–16.50); severe pain versus trips (OR 3.83, 95% CI 1.82–8.04); and severe pain versus multiple falls (OR 7.26, 95% CI 1.51–34.86). Participants with both pain sites were associated with trips (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.45–4.12) and multiple falls (OR 10.79, 95% CI 1.33–87.19).

Conclusions

Severe LBP was associated with single and multiple falls, whereas KP was associated with trips and multiple falls, irrespective of severity of pain. In addition, participants with both pain types were associated with trips and multiple falls. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2015; 15: 54–64.

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