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Does changing weight change pain? Retrospective data analysis from a national multidisciplinary weight management service
2019-09, Dunlevy, Colin, MacLellan, Grace A., O'Malley, Emer, Blake, Catherine, Mehegan, John, Fullen, Brona M., et al.
Background: Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is common in obese populations. Multidisciplinary Tier 3 weight management services (WMS) are effective in reducing weight; however, MSK pain as an outcome is not routinely reported post-WMS interventions. Methods: Following ethical approval this retrospective design study using anonymized data from a national WMS established changes in anthropometric and pain prevalence and intensity scores as well as establishing variables predictive of achieving clinically significant changes (CSC) in pain scores. Results: Of the 806 patients registered to the WMS (January 2011–February 2015), 59% (n = 476; CI = 56–62) attended their reassessments at 6 months. The overall mean age was 45.1 ± 12 years and 62% (n = 294) were female. At baseline 70% (n = 281; CI = 65–75) reported low back pain (LBP) and 59% (n = 234; CI = 54–64) had knee pain. At reassessment 37.3% (n = 177) of patients lost ≥5% body weight, 58.7% (n = 279) were weight stable (5% weight loss or gain) and 4.0% (n = 19) gained ≥5% body weight. Low back and knee pain prevalence reduced significantly for those who lost ≥5% body weight. Variables predictive of a CSC in LBP numerical rating scale (NRS) score included a higher baseline NRS score, weighing more, and rating losing weight as being important (p < 0.05). Higher baseline NRS and being younger resulted in higher odds of a CSC in knee pain NRS (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Overall this WMS was effective for clinical weight loss. For those who lost most weight prevalence of knee and LBP reduced. Imbedding pain management strategies within WMS’s may provide a more holistic approach to obesity management. Significance: Weight loss can reduce musculoskeletal pain, particularly for those who lose more weight. Imbedding pain management strategies within these services may provide a more holistic approach to obesity management.