The Back Pain Gene
Your DNA may be to blame for your aching back. Researchers at King’s College London have identified a gene linked to age-related degeneration of the lumbar discs in the spine. Over a third of middle-aged women have at least one degenerated spinal disc. Discs become dehydrated, lose height, and the vertebrae next to the discs develop bony growths called osteophytes. The condition is inherited in between 65% to 80% per cent of sufferers, lending credence to the discovery of the culprit gene.
The researchers, who published their study in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, were surprised by their finding and say that more research is warranted. They maintain that the "back pain gene" could "ultimately pave the way towards developing new treatments in the future."