Family Affairs!

Family affairs – genetic links?

Why me!

This is a question I have often asked of my doctor or consultant. Why do I get problems with my back and another person doesn’t? Up until a few years ago there was no answer forthcoming. More recently I have been told by GP’s that there are genetic factors and also conversely that there are no ‘proven’ genetic links to back problems. Understandably I am no lessconfused!!!

English: A chart illustrating the different ty...

A chart illustrating the different types of cousins, including genetic kinship marked within boxes in red which shows the actual genetic degree of relationship (gene share) with ‘self’ in percentage (%). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I suspect there are genetic links. I can look back through my own families history and see that my family seems to have suffered more than its fair share of back problems. My husband’s family has no such issue.

Do I want my children to suffer? – most definitely not. I guess you could say this blog has come about partly because of that answer. It certainly is a factor in publishing these articles. Do I have a clearer view on what affects my own family? – possibly. Therefore on a personal note  I aim to go ahead and try to get some simple checks done on family members to see if my hypothesis is right (I suspect some family members may have something as simple as having a slightly shorter leg than the other thus throwing out alignment of the spine and making muscles work when they don’t need to – but that’s another story!). I’ll let you know! (Also, see the post ‘Twisted?)

In the meantime, wouldn’t it be really useful for some research to be done in this area? There are very few checks done on children’s spines as they grow unless they suffer pain or disability. There doesn’t seem to be any rigorous standardised testing that I know of. We test eyes, ears etc. but backs once again seem to have no focus even though they literally hold us up!

My own back issue I believe started when I was a child but I didn’t have pain as I was ‘growing’ through it. (By this I mean my growth changed which muscles were under stress at any one time so things were constantly fluctuating in my body) When my growth stopped the problems started. In the last few years my back has literally altered in shape and I can see how the shape of my back when I was 10 years of age was to go on to exacerbate my back problems.

Simple easy checks I believe could be done to identify spinal issues in children, possibly after being flagged up by linking through family experiences but preferably for all children. Advice could then be given early to reduce the likelihood of increased problems in adulthood. What an amazing result that would be from a bit of well targeted research!

(Sarah does not have a medical background so it is emphasised that her blog is the result of her experiences and listening to others only. Before doing any of the suggestions contained in her blog, check with your doctor if you have any concerns on how they may affect you)

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2 thoughts on “Family Affairs!

  1. Pingback: Family affairs – genetic links? | Surviving Back Pain

  2. Pingback: UK versus US | Surviving Back Pain

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