Genetics may influence back pain as well as bunions

Family history plays a big part in whether an individual develops joint pain, according to a new study.

Genetics may influence back pain as well as bunions Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Kings College, London have found that spinal disc degeneration and back pain are caused by genetic factors. 

Incidentally, bunions are also a joint condition that may stem from family history.

Authors of the study noted that an estimated three-fourths of the population complains of back pain. As a result, they examined the factors that contribute to the discomfort.

The researchers studied the history of back pain in a group of Arabic families, as well as that of 2,500 twins. They found reliably that pain or disc degeneration in a relative often predicts the same condition in a family member.

"We have genetic factors that affect the rate and extent of the degeneration of our discs. In fact, the genetic factors are second only to age," said lead author Gregory Livshits.

Considering that bunions often lead to back pain, and that the bony deformity itself is a hereditary condition, the finding may not come as a surprise to some.

Individuals with a family history of bunions may want to consider using bunion splits or orthotics in an effort to prevent the bony deformity. Additionally, staving off or correcting bunions may reduce a person's chance of subsequent back pain. 


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