Monday, October 18, 2010

Research on lumbar disc disease

Here is an interesting new study on lumbar disc disease - one cause of bad backs.

The whole study is avalable here

The results of this case-control study reveal a positive association between weight and lumbar disc herniation as well as lumbar disc narrowing among men and women. A medium amount of pack-years was associated with lumbar disc herniation and narrowing in men and women. A non-significantly lowered risk of lumbar disc disease was found in men with high levels of cumulative body building and strength training.

interesting to see the potential proteciton from "bodybuilding"


Kanata Chiropractor said...

The excess weight especially in men where the added fat usually accumulates in the stomach and creates a shear force into the lumbar joints is not a big surprise. I think there needs to be much more control over what constitutes "bodybuilding" or "strength" training. You could "strength" train only one side of joint and it would increase the likelihood of lumbar disc degeneration...I guess what I'm getting at is it really depends on what exercises are being performed.

JamesSteeleII said...

Thanks for the link Chris. Hadn't picked that up yet. Hopefully I can sit down and have a read through it with tommorow mornings coffee in the office and then let you know my thoughts.

richardisiand said...

"A non-significantly lowered risk of lumbar disc disease", I am not sure if follows that that study supports the conclusion: "interesting to see the potential proteciton from "bodybuilding".

Anyway, thank you for putting together such an excellent blog.

Chris said...

that is why I said "potential"

JamesSteeleII said...

As with any epidemiological study we can't draw causation. Though I do think there is potentially merit in treating disc disease with specific exercise.

I think a more interesting finding (although still non significant) in this study is that endurance exercise decreased odds ratio at low volumes, supporting the notions of people like eyal ledermann that exercise in general is beneficial. Yet in both men and women in the highest exposure category odds ratio increased. In women it appeared to show a dose-response aswell.

Like I said, not significant but I am inclined to say that overtraining and overuse injury from high impact activity is the culprit here.

williebr said...

Kanata, you are right. They could've done 1,000 crunches per day, and if you believe Dr. McGill's work, that is probably a BIG negative.

JamesSteeleII said...


For your reading pleasure,