Diabetes a pain in the neck? This may be why

Aussie research confirms diabetes patients have more spinal pain  

GPs who suspect patients with diabetes seem to experience more neck and lower back pain than other people have now had their suspicions corroborated by Australian research.

Pooling data from five cross-sectional studies suggests that people with diabetes have a 35% higher risk of experiencing low back pain than those without diabetes, according to the University of Sydney authors.

And pooled data from two cross-sectional studies shows that diabetes patients have a 24% high risk of having neck pain.

However, the study did not find a causal relationship "due to a lack of evidence of any temporal effect", the authors wrote.  

One explanation of the findings could be that diabetes itself was not a true risk factor for spinal pain.

Instead, obesity might be the underlying cause.

Obesity was a risk factor for both diabetes and back pain, the researchers noted.