Atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries,
can lead to high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attack
or stroke. Evidence suggests that insufficient blood circulation
associated with atherosclerosis may contribute to another
serious condition: erosion/degeneration of the discs in your
of spines, a study published in a journal by the same name
investigated whether atherosclerotic lesions in the abdominal
aorta were more advanced in patients with low back pain (LBP)
vs. those without pain. From 1991-1993, 29 patients (21-58
years of age) were evaluated using a diagnostic procedure
called CT discography.
Results showed that 55% of LBP patients had atherosclerotic
damage visible on CT scan, compared with only 21% of patients
without LBP. This difference was further emphasized when examining
a specific group of patients (50 years of age or younger):
48% of LBP patients had aortic damage vs. only 8% of patients
without low back pain.
Atherosclerosis is so common that many people assume it's
a normal consequence of aging, but don't be fooled: overwhelming
research suggests that diet and lifestyle can play a major
role in preventing this disease. Your chiropractor can provide
you with more information on low back pain, atherosclerosis,
and how you can avoid both.
Kurunlahti M, Tervonen O, Vanharanta H, et al. Association
of atherosclerosis with low back pain and the degree of disc
degeneration. Spine, October 15, 1999: Vol. 24, No.