People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from low backache or neck pain as compared to a healthy person, say researchers. The study showed that diabetes, which affects an estimated 382 million people worldwide, contributes to a 35 per cent higher risk of low back pain and 24 per cent risk of neck pain.
However, the reason behind the pain is not fully established, the researchers said.
"Diabetes and low back pain and neck pain seem to be somehow connected. We can't say how but these findings suggest further research into the link is warranted," said Manuela Ferreira, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in Australia.
The team conducted a meta-analysis and included eight studies.
The study, published in the journal Plos One, found that common diabetes medication could also influence pain, possibly via its effect on blood glucose levels.
It also recommended health care professionals to consider screening for unknown diabetes in patients seeking care for neck pain or low back pain.
"Neck and back pain, and diabetes, are afflicting more and more people," noted co-author Paulo Ferreira, Associate Professor from the University's Faculty of Health Sciences.
"It may be that altering treatment interventions for diabetes could reduce the incidence of back pain, and vice versa," Paulo added.
The analysis also showed that Type 2 diabetes and low backache are linked to obesity and lack of physical activity.
"Our analysis adds to the evidence that weight control and physical activity play fundamental roles in health maintenance," the researchers noted.