Genetics is the major contributing factor to back pain, reveals research from Gregory Livshits of Tel Aviv University's Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
The results of their study can help identify the different mechanisms involved in back pain and lead to more effective treatment options.
The team's research shows genetics play a key role in lower back pain and the deterioration of intervertebral discs of the spine as well.
More surprisingly, Prof. Livshits says, lower back pain and disk degeneration do not always overlap, and are caused by different genetic factors.
Prof. Livshits and his team looked at a sample twin population of 2,500 individuals, comprising both identical and non-identical female twins. They tested for several potential risk factors, such as smoking, weight, physical work, vertebral disc degeneration disease as well as genetic predisposition.
In non-identical twins who share half of their genetic make-up, patients were almost three times more likely to suffer from back pain if their twin did so as well. In identical twins, who share all of their genes, the patient was six times more likely to have joint disease if their twin experienced the same joint disease.
This discovery could revolutionize the study and treatment of back pain, says Prof. Livshits.
The study was recently published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.