Backache primarily caused by a person's genes?

24 September 2012

New British-based research has led to the suggestion that a primary cause of backache could be a person's genes.

It has long been regarded that chronic lower backache is primarily a result of lumbar disc generation (LDD).

However, a team of experts led by Frances Williams, genetic epidemiologist at King's College London, have now identified a new gene implicated in back degeneration called PARK2.

The gene was discovered, rather ironically, while the researchers were looking for signs of LDD in back scans of some 4,600 people and could pave the way for new forms of treatment for backache.

Ms Williams commented to the Daily Telegraph: "The impact of hereditary (genetic) factors on LDD is remarkably high. In the 70s and 80s the Scandinavians spent millions looking for all the occupations which caused back pain (sic), but they couldn't find them."

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, eight in ten people will suffer from backache at some time during their lives.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...


Orthopaedic surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)