Study examines the course of back pain over time


Back pain is among the most frequently reported health problems in the world. New research published in Arthritis Care and Research, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Healthcare Professionals Rheumatology, examines patterns of back pain over time and identifies the characteristics of the patient and the extent of use of medications and medications (including opioids) associated with different standards.

The study included a representative sample of the Canadian population that was followed from 1994 to 2011. A total of 12,782 participants were interviewed every two years and provided data on factors including comorbidities, pain, disability, use of opioids and other medications, and health visits .

During the 16-year follow-up, almost half (45.6%) of the participants reported back pain at least once. There were four pain trajectories among these participants: persistent (18%), developing (28.1%), recovery (20.5%) and occasional (33.4%).

Persistent and developing groups have tended to have more pain and disability, as well as more consultations and use of medications than recovery groups and occasional trajectories. The group of recovery trajectories increased the use of opioids and antidepressants over time.

"The good news is that one in five people with back pain has recovered, but they have continued to use opioids and antidepressants, suggesting that people recovering from back pain need continuous monitoring," said Mayilee Canizares, PhD , of the University Health Network. Krembil Research Institute in Toronto, Canada. "The bad news was that one in five experienced persistent back pain, with an additional group – almost one in three – who developed back pain over time. These two groups were associated with increased activity limiting pain, disability, and depression, as well as increased health care and medication use. "

Dr. Canizares noted that the findings suggest that people with back pain are a heterogeneous group that may benefit from different management approaches rather than a traditional one-size-fits-all approach. "The distinct groups identified in the study may represent opportunities for more individualized treatment and preventative strategies," she said.


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Full Quote: "The course of back pain in the Canadian population: trajectories, predictors and outcomes." Mayilee Canizares, Y. Raja Rampersaud and Elizabeth M. Badley. Arthritis Care and Research; Published online: January 14, 2019 (DOI: 10.1002 / acr.23811).

URL after post: http: // doiwileywith /101002 /acr.23811

Disclosures: YRR reports Medtronic's personal consulting fees, which have no impact on the findings of this study. MC and EMB have no financial disclosures.

Author's Contact: Krembil Research Institute Communication Team:

Heather Sherman

Phone: 416-603-5294

Email: [email protected]


Travis Boyco

Phone: 437-217-6123

Email: [email protected]

About the Journal

Arthritis Care and Research is an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), a division of the College. Arthritis Care and Research is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research and review articles that promote excellence in the clinical practice of rheumatology. Relevant to the care of individuals with arthritis and related disorders, the main topics are evidence-based practical studies, clinical problems, practical guidelines, health economics, health policy, educational, social and public health issues, and future trends in rheumatology practice . . The magazine is published by Wiley on behalf of the ACR. For more information, visit the magazine's home page at http: // wileyonlinelibrary.with /Daily/acr.

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