Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inheriting Your Bad Back

Guess what? You thought that heavy lifting, overuse or middle age caused your back pain. However, latest published evidence suggests that chronic back pain has a strong genetic component.
Meaning if your relatives, grandparents etc had low back pain, chances are you will too.

In a large recent study by researchers in America, more than a million residents' data were analyzed. Focus was on people with degenerating or herniated (or what we commonly call slip disks) disks.

The data showed that having a second degree relative (uncle, aunt or grandparent) or even three degree relative (cousin) with a similar condition increased a person's risk of having the same condition. If you have an immediate family member with the same condition, that increases your risk by more than four times.

Thinking of why you have a low back pain? Go check your family tree.


Patel AA, Spiker WR et al (2011). Evidence For An Inherited Predisposition To Lumbar Disc Disease. JBJS (Am) 93: 225-229.

*Picture from

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