A Common Issue With Older Women: Knee Pain

A Common Issue With Older Women: Knee PainKnee pain of some type is something that older women commonly complain about. There are various reasons why this pain may occur. Regardless of its reason, it’s painful, nonetheless. This is why researchers are now choosing to delve deeper into this issue.

Looking Deeper into the Issue

Throughout history, there have been studies that looked at knee pain. However, most recently a research study was conducted in the UK. It looked at patterns relating to knee pain over a 12-year period. In doing so it discovered that about two-thirds (63%) of women over the age of 50 have experienced knee pain at one time or another. Looking a little closer, researchers discovered that this was typically in women who had a higher BMI, had injured their knee in the past, or have osteoarthritis (OA). These discoveries were published in the Arthritis and Rheumatism journal.

According to Dr. Nigel Arden (the senior author of this study), this was the first study that involved participants from the community in using multiple assessment points to look at patterns in knee pain over a 12-year period. He believes that this study was necessary so that doctors can understand the predictors and prevalence of knee pain. After all, this is the first step they must take towards creating a comprehensive pain assessment plan that could result in highly targeted treatment for their patients.

What Research Says

This study included older women who were suffering from varying degrees of knee pain – including asymptomatic, persistent, incident, and intermittent pain. They were representative of UK women in terms of weight, height, and whether they were smokers. Researchers asked these women to answer questions about their knee pain at four times throughout the 12-year study. In doing so researchers discovered that:
• 44% reported experiencing pain – 9% said it was persistent, 24% said it was incidental, and 29% said it was intermittent
• 23% reported that they experienced pain almost daily – 2% said it was persistent, 16% said it was incidental, and 18% said it was intermittent

Factors leading to persistent, incidental knee pain included an elevated BMI while those who’d experienced a knee injury in the past were more likely to experience persistent, intermittent pain. Fortunately, there were very few participants who said that they had consistent knee pain. Nevertheless, there’s still a lot of variability in knee pain patterns shown throughout this representative population over time.


Arden believes that more validation of these findings is necessary so that better forms of prevention and treatment modalities can be developed for older women, especially those suffering from OA. This is something we should all be committed to since OA is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide with one in 27 million Americans who are 25 years old or older being diagnosed with this painful disease. As you may well imagine, this leads to substantial damage to our economy – between a $3.4 – $13.2 billion loss yearly.

Besides knee pain, another common complaint amongst older women is their loss of hearing. You should know that this is preventable if you’re willing to seek help. If you live in Clearwater, Florida makes sure you reach out to Countryside Hearing Aids Services today.

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