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Lumbopelvic Pain Negatively Affects Walking in Elderly

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 -- Lumbopelvic pain (LPP) is common in well-functioning older adults, according to a study published Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Eleanor M. Simonsick, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed how LPP affects walking ability in well-functioning older adults (aged 60 to 89 years; 878 participants).

The researchers found that 31.4 percent had mild LPP, and 15.7 percent had moderate-to-severe LPP. Adjusted analyses showed that walking ability (P < 0.001), endurance walk performance (P = 0.007), and energetic cost of walking (P = 0.049) were worse with increasing LPP severity, although usual gait speed did not vary with LPP (P = 0.31). Over an average of 2.3 years of follow-up, participants with new or sustained LPP had worse follow-up level, greater mean decline, and higher likelihood of meaningful decline in reported walking ability versus participants free of LPP or whose LPP resolved.

"The longitudinal effect of LPP is unclear, but worsening perception of walking ability and its contribution to future mobility loss warrants further attention," the authors write.

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Posted: February 2018

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