Low back pain in older adults – the need for specific outcome and psychometric tools
Arnold Y Wong,1 Dino Samartzis2
1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China; 2Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
The average human life expectancy has increased significantly worldwide due to advances in medicine, health care delivery, and technology over recent years.1 The United Nations has estimated that the proportion of older individuals aged 60 or over in the world will increase threefold by the year 2050.2 However, the fast growth of the aging population is accompanied by global increase in the incidence of low back pain (LBP) complaints and associated medical costs.3
The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.
Tse MM, Pun SP, Benzie IF. Pain relief strategies used by older people with chronic pain: an exploratory survey for planning patient-centred intervention. J Clin Nurs. 2005;14:315–320.
Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations. World Population Ageing 2009. New York: United Nations Publication; 2010.
Prince MJ, Wu F, Guo Y, et al. The burden of disease in older people and implications for health policy and practice. Lancet. 2015;385:
Leopoldino AAO, Diz JBM, Martins VT, et al. Prevalence of low back pain in older Brazilians: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Rev Bras Reumatol Engl Ed. 2016;56:258–269.
Woo J, Leung J, Lau E. Prevalence and correlates of musculoskeletal pain in Chinese elderly and the impact on 4-year physical function and quality of life. Public Health. 2009;123:549–556.
Dionne CE, Dunn KM, Croft PR. Does back pain prevalence really decrease with increasing age? A systematic review. Age Ageing. 2006;35:229–234.
Williams JS, Ng N, Peltzer K, et al. Risk factors and disability associated with low back pain in older adults in low- and middle-income countries. Results from the WHO Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE). PLoS One. 2015;10:e0127880.
Reid MC, Williams CS, Gill TM. Back pain and decline in lower extremity physical function among community-dwelling older persons. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005;60:793–797.
Cayea D, Perera S, Weiner DK. Chronic low back pain in older adults: what physicians know, what they think they know, and what they should be taught. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006;54:1772–1777.
Di Iorio A, Abate M, Guralnik JM, et al. From chronic low back pain to disability, a multifactorial mediated pathway: The InCHIANTI Study. Spine. 2007;32:E809–E815.
Jiménez-Sánchez S, Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Carrasco-Garrido P, et al. Prevalence of chronic head, neck and low back pain and associated factors in women residing in the Autonomous Region of Madrid (Spain). Gaceta Sanitaria. 2012;26:534–540.
Jacobs JM, Hammerman-Rozenberg R, Cohen A, Stessman J. Chronic back pain among the elderly: prevalence, associations, and predictors. Spine. 2006;31:E203–E207.
Jones LD, Pandit H, Lavy C. Back pain in the elderly: a review. Maturitas. 2014;78:258–262.
Kim W, Jin YS, Lee CS, et al. Relationship between the type and amount of physical activity and low back pain in Koreans aged 50 years and older. PM R. 2014;6:893–899.
Hartvigsen J, Christensen K, Frederiksen H. Back and neck pain exhibit many common features in old age: a population-based study of 4,486 Danish Twins 70–102 years of age. Spine. 2004;29:576–580.
Weiner DK, Sakamoto S, Perera S, Breuer P. Chronic low back pain in older adults: prevalence, reliability, and validity of physical examination findings. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006;54:11–20.
Karppinen J, Shen FH, Luk KDK, Andersson GBJ, Cheung KMC, Samartzis D. Management of degenerative disk disease and chronic low back Pain. Orthop Clin North Am. 2011;42:513–528.
Shen FH, Samartzis D, Andersson GBJ. Nonsurgical management of acute and chronic low back pain. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2006;14:477–487.
Reid MC, Williams CS, Concato J, Tinetti ME, Gill TM. Depressive symptoms as a risk Factor for disabling back pain in community-dwelling older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003;51:1710–1717.
Karp JF, DiNapoli EA, Wetherell J, et al. Deconstructing chronic low back pain in the older adult—step by step evidence and expert-based recommendations for evaluation and treatment: part IX: anxiety. Pain Med. 2016;17:1423–1435.
Hicks GE, Manal TJ. Psychometric properties of commonly used low back disability questionnaires: Are they useful for older adults with low back pain? Pain Med. 2009;10:85–94.
Coyle PC, Velasco T, Sions JM, Hicks GE. Lumbar mobility and performance-based function: an investigation in older adults with and without chronic low back Pain. Pain Med. Epub June 26, 2016.
Leonhardt C, Kuss K, Becker A, et al. Graded exposure for chronic low back pain in older adults. J Geriatr Phys Ther. Epub April 7, 2016.
Wallwork TL, Stanton WR, Freke M, Hides JA. The effect of chronic low back pain on size and contraction of the lumbar multifidus muscle. Man Ther. 2009;14:496–500.
Wong AY, Parent EC, Funabashi M, Stanton TR, Kawchuk GN. Do various baseline characteristics of transversus abdominis and lumbar multifidus predict clinical outcomes in nonspecific low back pain? A systematic review. Pain. 2013;154:2589–2602.
Wong AY, Parent EC, Funabashi M, Kawchuk GN. Do changes in transversus abdominis and lumbar multifidus during conservative treatment explain changes in clinical outcomes related to nonspecific low back pain? A systematic review. J Pain. 2014;15:377.e1–35.
Morley JE. Sarcopenia in the elderly. Fam Pract. 2012;29(Suppl 1):i44–i48.
Chaléat-Valayer E, Mac-Thiong JM, Paquet J, Berthonnaud E, Siani F, Roussouly P. Sagittal spino-pelvic alignment in chronic low back pain. Eur Spine J. 2011;20(Suppl 5):634–640.
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF]