As you get older, pain in the lower back, tends to become a common complaint. Lumbar disc degeneration or LDD is a syndrome that causes back pain due to compromised disc, and affects many individuals, as they get older. Once the proper motion is lost for extended periods, the disc between vertebrae will dehydrate and lose height. The disc must have proper motion above and below the vertebrae, including the regular movement related with a healthy lifestyle to stay healthy.
The bones of the vertebrae can sprout tiny, bony growths called osteophytes or spurs. This further reduces the movement and increases the pain from the decreasing ability of the spine to perform its job well. 65 to 80 per cent of those people who suffer from chronic back pain from lumbar disc degeneration have a genetic link that makes them more susceptible to the condition. So, could your genes be responsible for your back pain?
The Role of Genes in LDD
Researchers at King’s College London conducted a study that points to a genetic source for degeneration of lumbar discs in older adults. The study involves 4,600 volunteers in which researchers used MRI technology and genome association data to figure out that a gene named PARK2 was implicated as a the main source of back pain.
The senior lecturer of the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London stated that they have identified a gene called PARK2 as related to LDD. They have performed the biggest genome-wide association analysis of lumbar disc degeneration. This means that there is scientific evidence that human genes play a role in this condition. If a person lives long enough, they will experience a certain level of LDD; however, the rate at which LDD happens differs greatly from person to person.
It is thought that individuals with an increased rapid rate of degeneration or more back pain in other words, are possibly genetically disposed to LDD. In addition, your genetic expression is greatly modified by your way of life. In the case of lumbar disc degeneration, even if a person is genetically predisposed, maintaining proper spinal motion and moving the spine regularly throughout the day will greatly reduce the severity of LDD.
About LDD and Back Pain Connection
Though most people will suffer from disc degeneration to some degree, not everyone will suffer from back pain. Many people experiencing significant LDD don’t have discomfort and pain. On the other hand, more severe LDD means higher chances of experiencing chronic back pain in the lower back. Consequently, the discovery of a genetic link to lumbar disc degeneration may be another step forward in patients’ knowledge of chronic lower back pain.
In the past, it was believed that external factors were to blame for disc degeneration that people with certain jobs that were not back friendly would suffer in higher numbers unlike those whose jobs were easier on the back. However, according to the senior lecturer, when the Scandinavians spent millions trying to look for all the jobs, which caused back pain during 70s and 80s, they couldn’t find them. One explanation regarding in how the differences in occupations may have not been discovered is because it is often the things you do outside of your office that makes a difference. Workers who sit all day at the office will experience the same discomfort on their spine as manual employees.
Moreover, researchers also found that the PARK2 gene has an on and off switch. Genes are programmed to allow the body to react in a certain way towards environmental input. If the input is changed, then your genetic expression is also changed. Changes such as engaging in exercises and committing to a balanced diet also alter genetic expression – two of the best examples of this are for heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, chiropractic care changes the afferent input into the nervous system to alter genetic expression.
Counteract Lower Back Pain with Chiropractic Care in Gold Coast
If you believe that your lower back pain is influenced by an inherited genetic condition, the best thing you can do is to consult a back pain specialist. Your chiropractors at Hinterland Chiropractic can provide you with a comprehensive spinal examination to check all the possible sources of your lower back pain and recommend a treatment plan. Remember that back pain can be caused by other factors, and lower back pain and lumbar disc degeneration are not always related.
If you have lower back pain linked to genetically induced LDD, consult your back pain specialist in Gold Coast here at Hinterland Chiropractic. There is a consistently growing body of evidence that shows spinal adjustments, as delivered by professional chiropractors, effectively relieves both the prevalent symptoms and underlying causes of lower back pain. Make your first appointment with your Chiropractor Gold Coast and receive comprehensive chiropractic consultation for $45. For more information, call us today at (07) 5527 3133 or simply book an appointment online.