J Pain. 2009 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print]


Tender Point Count, Pain, and Mobility in the Older Population: The MOBILIZE Boston Study.


Eggermont LH, Shmerling RH, Leveille SG. Alzheimer's Disease Clinical and Research Program, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Prevalence of tender points (TP), and widespread pain and fibromyalgia, as well as the relationship between TP and widespread pain and mobility, was examined in 585 community-dwelling older adults (mean age 78.2 years, 63.4% female). Pain was based on location (none, single site, multisite, widespread). Mobility was measured by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), gait speed, and self-reported (S-R) mobility difficulty. Tender-point count and health characteristics (ie, BMI, chronic conditions, analgesic use, number of medications, depression, and blocks walked per week) were assessed. Several participants had 3 or more TP (22.1%) although prevalence of criteria-based fibromyalgia was low (.3%). Mobility was more limited in persons with higher tender-point counts. After adjustment for pain and other risk factors, higher tender-point count was associated with poorer SPPB performance (score < 10, aOR = 1.09 per TP, 95%CI, 1.01-1.17), and slow gait speed (< .784m/sec, aOR = 1.14 per TP, 95%CI, 1.05-1.24), but not with S-R mobility difficulty. S-R mobility difficulty was associated with more disseminated pain (multisite pain, aOR = 2.01, 95%CI, 1.21-3.34; widespread pain, aOR = 2.47, 95%CI, 1.09-5.62). These findings portray a significant mobility burden related to tender-point count and multisite and widespread pain in the older population. Future studies using longitudinal methods are warranted.


PERSPECTIVE: Higher tender-point count, multisite pain, and widespread pain are common in community-dwelling older adults and associated with mobility problems. Both the manual tender-point exam and the McGill Pain Map may provide important yet different information about risks for mobility disability in older individuals.


PMID: 19665937 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]









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