Diet, Diabetes and Back Pain

There’s a good chance that you know someone who suffers from diabetes. This chronic condition takes a heavy toll on the body, causing a wide range of troublesome symptoms. According to a new report, persistent back and neck pain might also be due to the presence of diabetes.

A Pain in the Neck

The report comes courtesy of a team of researchers from the University of Sydney, which reviewed a number of previous studies involving neck pain, back pain and diabetes. Thanks to this pool of research, the study authors were able to identify a possible connection between diabetes and the prevalence of both back and neck pain. Specifically, diabetes sufferers were 35 percent more at risk of experiencing back pain when compared to non-diabetics. For neck pain, this figure stood at 24 percent.

Finding a Culprit

The authors contend that, based on their findings, the effects of diabetes medications should be given increased scrutiny. They believe that such medicines might explain the increased rates of back/neck pain amongst diabetics. Moreover, the researchers also speculate that carrying excess body weight and a lack of physical activity may also play a role in these discrepancies. 

Study author Manuela Ferreira noted that ““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.” 

By itself, the University of Sydney study does not conclusively prove that type 2 diabetes causes neck and back pain. Despite this limitation, the authors urged healthcare providers to take into account the potential link between these issues when treating patients. In discussing the study, researcher Paulo Ferreira stated that “neck and back pain, and diabetes, are afflicting more and more people. It’s worth committing more resources to investigate their interrelationship. It may be that altering treatment interventions for diabetes could reduce the incidence of back pain, and vice versa.”

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