Back complaints in older adults. [free PhD thesis]
Prevalence of both low back pain and thoracic back pain tends to peak around the age of 45-65 years, but the prevalence of back pain in older adults remains high with a prevalence of low back pain reported to range from 13-49%. Because life expectancy continues to increase, the number of older adults will also substantially increase with a related increase in the number of older adults with back complaints. Although back pain is highly prevalent in older adults, research has mainly focused on the working population aged 18-65 years.
However, findings in a younger population can not necessarily be generalized to older back pain patients. For example, differences in the course of back pain between the working (younger) population and older aged population could be possible for the following reasons: 1) higher age is often reported as a prognostic factor for poor recovery, 2) older age is a red flag for pathologies such as malignity and osteoporotic spine fracture and 3) older people more often have internal body changes which could influence the course of back pain, such as (lumbar) disc degeneration, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
The overall aim of this thesis was to gain insight into: 1) the course of back pain in older adults in general practice, 2) the characteristics of these patients and their back pain, 3) prognostic factors for poor recovery of older adults with back pain, 4) the association between perceived lumbar stiffness and lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) as assessed on X-ray, and 5) the medical consumption of back pain patients > from Jantine Scheele (2013). All rights reserved to the author and Erasmus University.
The free full text PhD. thesis (145 pages) can be downloaded here.