Is Back Pain Hereditary?

There are many characteristics that follow down from generation to generation but could back pain be one of them? Could it be that just like hair and eye colour, the chances of developing certain forms of back pain may be inherited?

Quite possibly.

Many medical professionals have long had suspicions that genetics play a role in the development of back pain and various studies have shown that persistent back pain often runs in families.

When evaluating the cause of possible inherited back pain, it’s important to take into account that we get many of our emotional and physical traits from our parents. Many of these dispositions, physical forms and personality traits are trickled down through the genes and enhanced by the lifestyle choices we make. In other words, being aware of our family’s medical history may be significant in discovering any increased risks of developing back pain. Early diagnoses and accurate treatment play a major role in the successful cure of many spine conditions. It is therefore important to know of any major back problems experienced by our immediate relatives so that we can be aware of any potential risk to ourselves.

Those of us with a family history of back pain can lower our risk by properly looking after our spines, maintaining a healthy weight and undertaking regular exercise.

One puzzling aspect of low back pain is the perception of pain between patients. For example, some people suffering from a herniated disc may report severe or even unbearable pain while others may experience no discomfort at all. With the growing number of studies suggesting that pain susceptibility or pain tolerance is inherited, it may be that some families have a higher awareness of pain than others.

Similar lifestyle choices between family members also must be taken account. Obesity within a family or how a family tend to “carry” their weight is one example. An overweight or obese person who carries their weight around their abdomen will experience additional stress on the lower back. As the extra weight is not evenly distributed, the weight at the front of the body can result in an abnormal curve in the lower spine.

It must also be considered that people who are overweight or obese perhaps may not undertake regular exercise. A reduced amount of physical activity can contribute to poor muscle tone and muscles weakness. Untrained or reconditioned muscles do not have the optimum level of strain resistance to combat the risk of back pain.

Poor lifestyle choices such as being overweight can also aggravate almost all types of existing back pain.

Here are some simple tips to reduce your risk of developing back pain

1. Implement regular exercise into your lifestyle. Swimming and walking are great ways to strengthen the muscles in your back.

2. Make an effort to maintain a good posture. Avoid slouching and hunching and take breaks from sitting every 30 minutes.

3. Quit smoking. It has been suggested that smoking hinders the blood supply to the discs in your spine which could lead to disc degeneration.

4: Maintain a healthy weight and a varied diet.

5: Invest in a mattress that is correct for you. A good bed specialist will be able to provide you with bespoke advice.

It’s important to remember that the spine is an extremely complex structure that plays a major role in the functionality of many processes within the body. It is therefore critical to look after our spine health, whether we may be at risk of genetic conditions or not.