Conflicts of interest: None.
Original Research Article
The Relations of Obesity Indicators and Early Metabolic Disturbance with Upper Extremity Pain
Version of Record online: 3 MAY 2013
Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Volume 14, Issue 7, pages 1081–1087, July 2013
How to Cite
Vehmas, T., Shiri, R., Luoma, K. and Viikari-Juntura, E. (2013), The Relations of Obesity Indicators and Early Metabolic Disturbance with Upper Extremity Pain. Pain Medicine, 14: 1081–1087. doi: 10.1111/pme.12132
Funding: The study was supported by the Academy of Finland (No. 111061) and the Finnish Work Environment Fund.
Summary: 177 workers with upper extremity disorders were followed-up for 104 weeks. Anthropometric measures were recorded. Visceral and liver fat content and carotid artery intima-media thickness were estimated with ultrasound. Pain intensity and pain interference with sleep were assessed. All obesity indicators and especially visceral fat thickness were associated with both pain intensity and pain interference with sleep. Visceral obesity therefore seemed to be a special risk factor for upper extremity pain.
- Issue online: 15 JUL 2013
- Version of Record online: 3 MAY 2013
- Academy of Finland. Grant Number: 111061
- Finnish Work Environment Fund
- Musculoskeletal Pain;
- Occupational Medicine;
- Upper Extremity
To determine whether signs of metabolic disturbance and especially visceral obesity are associated with upper extremity pain.
One hundred and seventy-seven workers (154 women, 23 men; age 20–64 years, mean 45) seeking medical advice in the occupational health service for incipient upper extremity disorders were included.
Weight, height, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured. Visceral and liver fat content and carotid artery intima-media thickness were estimated with ultrasound. Pain intensity and pain interference with sleep were assessed with visual analog scales at baseline and after 2, 8, 12, 52, and 104 weeks follow-up. Generalized estimating equation approach was used to analyze the repeated measures data.
All obesity indicators were associated with both pain intensity and pain interference with sleep. Visceral fat thickness was the strongest predictor of pain intensity and pain interference with sleep. Carotid intima-media thickness was neither associated with pain intensity nor with pain interference with sleep.
Visceral obesity seems to be a risk factor for upper extremity pain. Further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and to clarify whether weight loss can be helpful in pain management.