Diabetes and Back Pain

Diabetes and Back Pain

Diabetes and Back Pain

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Yesterday,  I was asked if there is a relationship between diabetes and back pain?   The short answer,  in my opinion is yes.  But just so we can all have a general understanding,  we must first review diabetes and its effects.

As many of you know,  there are two forms of diabetes.  Type I diabetes usually occurs at a young age.  It was formerly known as juvenile diabetes.  To generalize,  your body does not form insulin,  the hormone necessary to absorb glucose (sugar), and transform it into energy.  The glucose levels build up in the body,  and unfortunately,  high glucose concentration causes destruction of your body tissues( As an aside,  just so you can understand the nature of glucose,  sugar cannot spoil.  No bacteria can grow in high sugar concentrations.  In a similar matter,  it can destroy your cells).

Type II diabetes usually occurs with age,  and also has a hereditary component.  The body develops a resistance to insulin,  and will not absorb the sugar, despite the insulin.   Again,  the blood glucose levels increase,  and leads to the destructive cellular processes.

Thus far,  the science is still being explored,  but the cellular distruction caused by higher glucose levels have been shown to be toxic to skin cells,  nerve cells,  skin cells,  smooth muscles,  etc.  In addition,  some studies suggest the higher glucose levels activate osteoblast activities in muscle cells.  In other words,  causes the calcification seen in blood vessels.

In the spine, studies have shown an increased disk degeneration incidence in patients with diabetes.

For Spine Specialists,  we already know that patients with diabetes often develop the so called double crush phenomenon,  where the nerves can be crushed once by the physical pressure of disk or bone pressure on the nerve.  Then,  the second “crush” comes from the high sugar effects on the nerve tissues,  causing the so call peripheral neuropathy.   Demographic studies show that  People with diabetes have associated increased musculo-skeletal complaints.

For spine surgeons,  it is general accepted that patients with diabetes will have higher complication rates and lower success rates.  So in addition to having more disk degeneration, and musculoskeletal complaints,  diabete patients have poor surgical outcomes,  with increased complication rates.

For those who have diabetes,  please do what you can to control your sugar levels,   and monitor your ratio of glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C). You want to minimize the bad effects of a high glucose level.  From the perspective of you spine,  you can help moderate the rate of degeneration,  and subsequent development of back pain.

If you have concerns,  please visit your internist,  or get more information from the American Diabetes Association.

Citations

  • Armaghani SJ, Archer KR, Rolfe R, Demaio DN, Devin CJ. Diabetes Is Related to Worse Patient-Reported Outcomes at Two Years Following Spine Surgery. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016 Jan 6;98(1):15-22. PubMed PMID: 26738899

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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