To Your Health
April, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 04)
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Diabetes, Back and Neck Pain: The Potential Connection

By Editorial Staff

An estimated eight in 10 people will suffer back pain at some point in their lives, which means if you haven't experienced it yet, you probably will. While there are numerous potential contributors to back pain, which your chiropractor can tell you about, research suggests diabetes sufferers are more likely to have back and/or neck pain, too.

An analysis of previous studies published in PLoS One concludes that diabetes sufferers are more likely to suffer back pain; 35 percent higher than people without diabetes. They're also more likely to experience neck pain: 24 percent higher than non-diabetics. The analysis included studies involving type 1 diabetics and type 2 diabetics, the former of which isn't something you can control. But let's focus on type 2, which is profoundly influenced by two factors: diet and exercise, both of which can contribute to obesity.

While the analysis didn't confirm that diabetes causes back (or neck) pain, the fact that obesity is a major cause of type 2 suggests you don' t want this type of diabetes if you want to avoid back and/or neck pain. Why? Because excess weight stresses the spine and other structures, which can lead to widespread musculoskeletal pain.

Your doctor can tell you more about the perils of diabetes, why obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, and how obesity can cause back, neck and other types of pain.