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Muscle function, quality and relative mass are associated with knee pain trajectory over 10.7 years


Pan, F and Tian, J and Scott, D and Cicuttini, F and Jones, G, Muscle function, quality and relative mass are associated with knee pain trajectory over 10.7 years, Pain ISSN 0304-3959 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 by the International Association for the Study of Pain.

DOI: doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002383


Periarticular muscle plays an important role in the pathogenesis of musculoskeletal pain. We recently reported that pain population consists of distinct subgroups of which the causes and mechanisms may differ. This study aimed to examine the association of lean mass, muscle strength and quality with 10.7-year pain trajectory. 947 participants from a population-based cohort study were analysed. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess lean and fat mass. Leg, knee extensor strength and lower-limb muscle quality were measured/calculated. Knee pain was assessed by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index pain questionnaire. Radiographic knee osteoarthritis (ROA) was assessed by X-ray. Three distinct pain trajectories were identified: "Minimal pain" (53%), "Mild pain" (34%) and "Moderate pain" (13%). Higher total and lower-limb lean mass were associated with an increased risk of "Mild pain" and "Moderate pain" trajectories relative to the "Minimal pain" trajectory group, but these associations became non-significant after further adjustment for fat mass. Total lean mass percentage was associated with a lower risk of "Mild pain" [relative risk ratio (RRR): 0.95, 95%CI 0.92-0.98] and "Moderate pain" trajectory (RRR:0.92, 95%CI 0.87-0.96). Greater leg and knee extensor strength and muscle quality were associated with "Mild pain" and "Moderate pain" trajectories (RRR:0.52-0.65,all P<0.05). Similar results were found in those with ROA. Higher lower-limb muscle strength and quality, and relative lean mass, are associated with a reduced risk of severe knee pain trajectories, suggesting that improving muscle function and composition may protect against persistent unfavourable knee pain courses.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:muscle strength, lean mass, knee pain, trajectory, cohort study
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Pain
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Human pain management
UTAS Author:Pan, F (Dr Feng Pan)
UTAS Author:Tian, J (Dr Jing Tian)
UTAS Author:Scott, D (Mr David Scott)
UTAS Author:Jones, G (Professor Graeme Jones)
ID Code:144919
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1157535)
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-21
Last Modified:2021-08-18

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