The Association of Persistent Low Back Pain With Older Adult Falls and Collisions: A Longitudinal Analysis

Tyler Bell, Caitlin Pope, Pariya Fazeli, Michael Crowe, Karlene Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mobility-related injuries associate with reduced quality of life, greater functional dependence, and quicker mortality in older adults—warranting prevention efforts. One factor elevating injury risk may be persistent low back pain, which can negatively affect cognitive and physical functions essential for safe mobility. Among older adults obtaining license renewal (n = 1,127), this study examined the association between persistent low back pain and incidence of falls and motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) for up to 15 years. Overall, older adults with persistent low back pain were more likely to have a fall (odds ratio [OR] = 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.34, 1.77]) or MVC (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = [1.07, 1.77]) than those without back pain. Furthermore, the number of falls and MVCs was lower for people with better lower limb and visuospatial function, respectively. Ameliorating pain and functioning in persistent lower back pain might contribute to improved mobility and a reduction of injury-related risk in later life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1464
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume40
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • cognition
  • falls
  • injury
  • motor vehicle collisions
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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