Arthritis and migraine are two chronic conditions that often involve pain that can be hard to effectively treat. Arthritis, which is a joint disorder featuring inflammation, is very common, affecting more than 3 million people in the United States each year. Migraine, which often involves severe pain that includes throbbing in the head, is as common, affecting approximately the same number of people.
A new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, aimed at determining whether there may be any association between arthritis and migraine investigated more than 2,500 adults, about half of whom were women. The average age of study participants was 50.6 years. Amongst the sample, 10.7% suffered from migraine, according to self-reports.
The results showed that there was a significant association between arthritis and migraine. In other words, suffering from one of these conditions appeared to increase the risk for suffering from the other. More detailed analysis showed that this association was significant in specific populations. Specifically, women, adults between the ages of 18 and 45 and older adults over the age of 65 were significantly more likely to suffer from arthritis or migraine if they also suffered from the other condition.
According to physicians, the potential for arthritis and migraine to coexist is troubling because of the potential for both medical burdens and economic burdens. The authors suggest that we should as a medical community begin developing and deploying strategies to help reduce the potential for arthritis and migraine to co-occur.
Jacob, L. et al. (2021). Association between arthritis and migraine: A US nationally representative study including 2649 adults. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(2), E342.