Back Pain May Be In Your Genes

Posted on Jan 3, 2021


If your parents experience back pain, will you, too? Is back pain “in the genes?” Several studies suggest a connection between back pain and genetics. Research has discovered that the development of lumbar degenerative disc disease, which gives a person chronic back pain, has a strong genetic link. Can back pain run in families? Yes. Research has shown that people with lumbar disc disease, for example, typically have other family members with it as well.

Today, researchers are on the hunt for the specific genes that influence both disc degeneration and back pain. Recently, a new study found three novel genetic variants associated with chronic back pain for loci at SOX5, CCDC26/GSDMC, and DCC. Researchers looked at the genomes of some 158,000 adults of European ancestry, with 29,000 of those having chronic back pain issues. They wanted to find gene variants that were associated with the presence of back pain, and they did. Those variants, such as the one in the SOX5 gene, involve skeletal development whereas there’s a defect in cartilage and skeletal formation. Was this just found in one study? No. There was another that looked at 280,000 individuals, including 50,000 with back pain, and they also found this SOX5 variant association with chronic back pain.

Two other genes were linked to back pain in research studies. CCDC26/GSDMC and DCC were found to be associated with intervertebral disc herniation, back pain, and the development of the spinal cord.

Did you know that back pain affects about 540 million people around the world on any given day? While things like obesity and smoking can bring about back pain, researchers keep learning more and more about the genetics of back pain. If several of your relatives have back pain, there’s a strong chance you could have it, too. Thankfully, there’s relief from chronic back pain at the chiropractor’s office. In Forest Lake, MN, call Lakewoods Chiropractic at 615-464-0800 to make an appointment and get some relief.

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