Wiley Logo In accordance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. encompasses around 4.3 million adults suffering from knee osteoarthritis (OA). A latest study claims that pain in the lower back, foot and elbow of the same side as the affected knee is related to osteoarthritis. It was suggested that OA patients with pain in other joints are more likely to experience greater knee pain.

Data provided by individuals from the Osteoarthritis Initiative was thoroughly evaluated during the research. It included information of 1,389 participants aged 45-79 years with symptomatic knee. Patients were made to identify pain in the lower back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle or foot. Then with the help of a Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scientists calculated the level of pain in patients on a scale of 0 to 20 with lower scores showing less pain and stiffness.

“Our findings show that pain in the low back, foot and elbow may be associated with greater knee pain, confirming that symptomatic knee OA 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,” stated Pradeep Suri, M.D., from Harvard Medical School, New England Baptist Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

It appeared that 57.4 percent patients had a pain in the lower back with a mean WOMAC pain score of 6.5. On the other hand, those reporting no pain in lower back probably scored 5.2. Experts conclude that low back pain is dramatically linked with an elevation in the WOMAC knee pain score. Similar associations were apparently shown by all individual joint locations analyzed in this study. Models analyzing pain locations simultaneously reveal that only low back pain, ipsilateral foot pain and elbow pain may be correlated with a higher knee pain score. It was suggested that having more than one pain location, regardless of the site results in greater WOMAC knee pain score.

The study will be published in the December issue of Arthritis Care and Research.