Research conducted at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU), University of Southampton concludes that breaking a major bone can result in increased risk of widespread chronic pain later. Both men and women who suffered spinal fracture, as well as women who experienced a hip fracture were found to report long term pain at twice the frequency of those who did not have a fracture. The authors assert that theirs is the first study to demonstrate an association between chronic pain and prior bone breakage. The researched appears in Archives of Osteoporosis.
In the study, the records of 500,000 adults aged 40-69 years were examined for association between a prior history of fracture of the limb, spine, or hip, and later experience of widespread chronic pain. Controlling for other factors including diet, lifestyle, body build, and psychological health, the team found a significant association between elevated risk of chronic pain and hip or spine fractures. The authors add that the findings, if confirmed in additional research, may enable more proactive treatment of chronic pain following incidents of fracture. Read more about the study here. The study abstract may be read here.