Broken Bones May Lead to Widespread Body Pain, a Study Reveals

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Wide spread chronic body pain later in life may be the result of a major bone fracture.
Wide spread chronic body pain later in life may be the result of a major bone fracture.

Wide spread chronic body pain later in life may be the result of a major bone fracture, a new study shows.

Published in the Archives of Osteoporosis, a new report outlines how patients – including both men and women – who had a spine fracture and women who had a hip fracture were more than twice as likely to experience long-term, widespread pain compared with those who had not had a fracture previously.

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The study's researchers used the UK Biobank cohort of 500 000 adults between the years of 40 and 69 to investigate associations between a past history of fracture affecting upper and lower limb, spine or hip, and the presence of chronic widespread body pain. Out of the group, 7130 individuals reported chronic widespread bodily pain and 23 177 had a history of fracture affecting the upper limb, lower limb, and spine, hip or both. Considering the possible effects of a wide range of further factors, the study's authors reviewed participant diet, lifestyle, and body build, and measures of psychological health to adjust for potential risk factors.

“The causes of chronic widespread pain are poorly characterized, and this study is the first to demonstrate an association with past fracture,” study researcher Nicholas Harvey, professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology told Clinical Pain Advisor. “If confirmed in further studies, these findings might help us to reduce the burden of chronic pain following such fractures.”

Reference

Walker-Bone K, Harvey N, Ntani G et al. Chronic widespread bodily pain is increased among individuals with history of fracture: findings from UK Biobank. Arch Osteoporos. 2015;11(1). doi:10.1007/s11657-015-0252-1.

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