Daily Pain Severity but Not Vertebral Fractures Is Associated With Lower Physical Activity in Postmenopausal Women With Back Pain

Gallin Montgomery, Jon H. Tobias, Zoe Paskins, Tarnjit K. Khera, Cameron J. Huggins, Sarah J. Allison, Daniel Abasolo, Emma M. Clark, Alex Ireland*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Back pain lifetime incidence is 60%–70%, while 12%–20% of older women have vertebral fractures (VFs), often with back pain. We aimed to provide objective evidence, currently lacking, regarding whether back pain and VFs affect physical activity (PA). We recruited 69 women with recent back pain (age 74.5 ± 5.4 years). Low- (0.5 < g < 1.0), medium- (1.0 ≤ g < 1.5), and high-impact (g ≥ 1.5) PA and walking time were measured (100 Hz for 7 days, hip-worn accelerometer). Linear mixed-effects models assessed associations between self-reported pain and PA, and group differences (VFs from spine radiographs/no-VF) in PA. Higher daily pain was associated with reduced low (β = −0.12, 95% confidence interval, [−0.22, −0.03], p = .013) and medium-impact PA (β = −0.11, 95% confidence interval, [−0.21, −0.01], p = .041), but not high-impact PA or walking time (p > .11). VFs were not associated with PA (all p > .2). Higher daily pain levels but not VFs were associated with reduced low- and medium-impact PA, which could increase sarcopenia and falls risk in older women with back pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Early online date23 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Mar 2024

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