AAOS Study Identifies Risk Factors That May Raise Back Pain Risk

Lower back pain can be irritating at best and debilitating at worse. For some, simple lifestyle changes may make a huge difference. A recent study presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that nicotine dependence, alcohol abuse, obesity and depression were tied to an increased risk of lower back pain.

The authors of this study looked at the connection between these health issues and back pain using medical records. They suggested that addressing these risk factors may help alleviate back pain. “The findings will allow physicians to better counsel and more closely follow their high-risk patients,” said lead author Scott T. Shemory, MD, of the Crystal Clinic Orthopedic Center in Akron, OH. Between 19 and 39 percent of people develop lower back pain during their lifetimes, Dr. Shemory and team noted. This pain may increase medical costs, prevent people from working and lower quality of life.

For this study, Dr. Shemory and team looked at data from 26 million patients’ medical records — 1.2 million of whom had a diagnosis of lower back pain. People with nicotine dependence were more than four times as likely as nonsmokers to develop lower back pain. Alcohol abusers were 3.3 times as likely as those who did not abuse alcohol to have lower back pain. Also, obesity was tied to a six-fold increased risk of lower back pain. Patients with depressive disorders were 5.5 times more likely to have lower back pain than their nondepressed counterparts, Dr. Shemory and team found.

“This should include full body exercise including core strengthening,” Dr. Rempson said. “This may include exercises such as a pool exercise program, working out in a gym with formal equipment, taking exercise classes, or developing a workout program you can do in your own home. It is important to do all exercises correctly to prevent injury. Appropriately strengthening the back muscles helps reduce the risk of injury.”

Read the full article here: http://www.dailyrx.com/lower-back-pain-risk-tied-obesity-depression-and-nicotine-and-alcohol-use

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