Suzanne Leveille and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, studied 749 community-based adults aged over 70 years.
Participants were assessed for musculoskeletal pain and followed for 28 months. In total, they suffered 1,029 falls during the study period.
Those who reported musculoskeletal pain in at least two locations were 55% more likely to experience a fall than those who experienced no joint pain.
The reseachers commented: ‘Our results provide strong and consistent evidence that chronic musculoskeletal pain, regardless of the measure used, is associated with increased risk of falls in a general population of community-living older adults.'