Certain spine conditions increase the risk of experiencing heart-related issues just as much as smoking does. This was the main conclusion of Canadian researchers after an extensive evaluation of health data. The team examined health survey responses from more than 50,000 respondents and identified patterns suggesting a connection between spine and heart health. The staff at The Spine Institute in Los Angeles examines these findings.
Increased Physical Inactivity
Several hundred patients with spinal cord injuries also had a stroke, and another group of patients with SCIs had heart disease. The reason for the correlation may have to do with lifestyle choices that tend to contribute to heart disease and stroke.
People with back pain or a spinal cord injury often refrain from physical activity out of a fear of contributing to more pain. Some of the health issues that can come from this inactivity may also increase the risk of developing heart disease due to a prolonged sedentary lifestyle. This may lead to:
- Increased inflammation and swelling
- Poor eating habits and elevated blood sugar levels
- High blood pressure
Chronic Pain, Disuse Syndrome, and Heart Health
Results of the study support previous correlations between chronic pain and inactivity that may contribute to heart problems from too little exercise and too much prolonged rest. This condition, referred to as disuse syndrome, may lead to other issues with systems in the body, including the cardiovascular system. The domino effect on heart health may be caused by:
- Decreased oxygen uptake
- Elevated systolic blood pressure
- Lower blood plasma volume
More than 200 million Americans will experience back pain at some point, so it’s not completely preventable. However, research provides an added incentive to take positive steps to keep both the backbone and heart healthy. You can do this by getting regular exercise, watching your weight, and avoiding improper lifting, poor posture, or other behaviors that may contribute to spine disorders.
For more information on how your spine health can impact your overall wellbeing, get in touch with The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Hyun Bae can diagnose the source of your pain and recommend an effective treatment, which can range from non-fusion procedures to extreme lateral interbody fusion. Los Angeles residents who need a solution to relieving their spine pain should call 310-828-7757 today to schedule an in-person evaluation.