The Link Between Diabetes and Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Diabetes Back Pain

New research out of Australia found that individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing neck and back pain compared to individuals without the condition.

Researchers were unable to prove a causal relationship between diabetes and back pain, only correlation, but it does suggest that managing your blood glucose levels can help you prevent back pain down the road. For their study, researchers at the University of Sydney examined a large group of patients to see if individuals with diabetes were more or less likely to have certain pain conditions. They found that compared to someone without the condition, individuals with diabetes were:

  • 35 percent more likely to report low back pain
  • 24 percent more likely to report neck pain

Protecting Against Diabetes and Back Pain

Both diabetes and back pain are common conditions in today’s society, as an estimated 380 million people live with type 2 diabetes, and more than 90 percent of individuals will experience acute or chronic back pain at some point in their life. Researchers stopped short of saying how the two conditions are related, only saying the further investigation is needed.

“Diabetes and low back pain and neck pain seem to be somehow connected. We can’t say how, but these findings suggest further research into the link is warranted,” said Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira of the University’s Institute of Bone and Joint Research. “Type 2 diabetes and low back pain both have a strong relationship with obesity and lack of physical activity, so a logical progression of this research might be to examine these factors in more detail. Our analysis adds to the evidence that weight control and physical activity play fundamental roles in health maintenance.”

As the authors mention, preventing back pain and diabetes may not be all that difficult, because prevention strategies are very similar. If you want to prevent back pain or diabetes, consider:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Avoiding excessive sugars and carbohydrates
  • Speak to your doctor if you are noticing any new discomfort
  • Avoid bad habits, like excessive alcohol intake, tobacco use or prolonged sitting

These tips are by no means foolproof, but overall, if you strive to for a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be lowering both your risk of diabetes and back pain. If you have questions about either condition, we have a wealth of knowledge treating either, so reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today for more information.

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