Chronic Low Back Pain Among Older Adults: A Population-Based Perspective

  • Knauer S
  • Freburger J
  • Carey T
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Objectives: To determine the prevalence of chronic low back pain (LBP) in older North Carolinians, describe their health and health care utilization, and compare these findings with younger subgroups. Method: A cross-sectional, telephone survey of 5,357 households was conducted to identify 732 adults with chronic, impairing LBP. Results: Chronic LBP prevalence in older adults was significantly higher than the 21-to-44-year age group (12.3% vs. 6.5%, p < .001). Older adults were more disabled, had longer symptom duration, and were less depressed. Chronic LBP care seeking in older adults was significantly lower than the 45-to-64-year age group (80.6% vs. 88.6%, p = .02). Older adults were less likely to receive bed rest, spinal manipulation, heat/cold treatments, electrical stimulation, and massage therapy. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, strong narcotics, and antidepressants was significantly lower in the older age group. Discussion: There are age-related differences in health and health care use among individuals with chronic LBP

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adult
  • Back
  • Back Pain
  • Bed Rest
  • Health
  • LBP
  • Low Back Pain
  • Massage
  • Muscle
  • NSAIDs
  • Narcotics
  • Pain
  • Prevalence
  • Rest
  • Symptom
  • Telephone
  • age
  • anti-inflammatory drugs
  • antidepressants
  • bed
  • chronic low back pain
  • manipulation
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs
  • therapy
  • treatment
  • utilization

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  • Stefanie R Knauer

  • Janet K Freburger

  • Timothy S Carey

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