MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The pain of knee osteoarthritis is more severe in people who also have foot, elbow and lower back pain, a new study has found.

In the study, researchers asked almost 1,400 knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients, aged 45 to 79, about pain in the lower back, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle or foot.

Low back pain was significantly associated with higher knee pain scores. Foot and elbow pain were also significantly associated with a higher knee pain score, the investigators found.

In addition, pain in multiple joints, regardless of location, was associated with greater knee pain, the study authors reported.

The findings were released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

"Our findings show that pain in the low back, foot and elbow may be associated with greater knee pain, confirming that symptomatic knee OA rarely occurs in isolation. Future studies are needed to determine whether treatment of pain occurring elsewhere in the body will improve therapy outcomes for knee OA," Dr. Pradeep Suri, of Harvard Medical School, New England Baptist Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, stated in a news release from the journal's publisher.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about knee OA.