A new study has found that type 2 diabetes is linked to high risks of low back pain and neck pain.
The research was done by a team from the University of Sydney.
Many people experience low back pain during their lives and almost half suffer neck pain at some stage.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition. It is estimated 382 million people live with type 2 diabetes. It is the most common form of this metabolic disease.
Previously, scientists have found that diabetes and low back pain and neck pain seem to be somehow connected. But it is hard to say how.
In this study, the researchers conducted meta-analyses of studies that assess the links between diabetes and back or neck pain outcomes.
They found people with type 2 diabetes have a 35% higher risk of low back pain and a 24% higher risk of neck pain than those without diabetes.
In addition, diabetes drugs could influence pain, possibly via its effect on blood glucose levels.
The researchers suggest that both health conditions have a strong relationship with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
The finding adds to the evidence that weight control and physical activity play key roles in health.
The team suggests health care works need to consider screening for unknown diabetes in people seeking care for neck pain or low back pain.
It is possible that altering treatment interventions for diabetes could reduce the incidence of back pain, and vice versa.
The study senior author is Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira from the University’s Institute of Bone and Joint Research.
One co-author and collaborator is Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira from the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The study is published in PLOS ONE.
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