Diabetes patients are more likely to experience back pain and neck pain, according to a new study.
While it is common for adults to experience back pain and neck pain at some point in their lives, the chronic condition has become more prevalent in diabetes patients.
Researchers from the University of Sydney examined several studies to understand the link between diabetes and pain. The results showed that diabetics have a 35 percent higher risk of suffering from back pain and a 24 percent chance of experiencing neck pain. “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,” senior study author Manuela Ferreira told a news portal.
Close to 382 million people reportedly live with type 2 diabetes. Researchers say lifestyle factors could play a role in why patients of the condition suffer from this kind of pain. “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,” Ferreira added.
The team also found that medication for the condition can cause pain. This could be because the drug could affect glucose levels.
Researchers hope healthcare professionals screen people suffering from back and neck pain for diabetes. “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,” co-author of the study Paulo Ferreira told a news portal.
The study's findings were originally published in the journal PLOS ONE.