8 September 2017

Researchers in Finland analyzed data on more than 35,000 people who were followed for up to 30 years. The researchers found out that smoking and obesity each raised the risk of being hospitalized for sciatica by 33 percent or more, while regularly commuting on foot or by bicycle lowered the risk by 33 percent.

“The harmful effects of overweight, obesity and smoking, and the protective effect of walking or cycling to work on hospitalization are substantial,” lead study author Dr. Rahman Shiri, of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, told Reuters Health.

Dr. Shiri is one of the authors of the research paper Lifestyle Risk Factors Increase the Risk of Hospitalization for Sciatica: Findings of Four Prospective Cohort Studies referred to in the Reuters news article.

“Exercise protects against chronic low back pain”, reminds Dr. Shiri, also one of the authors of Does leisure time physical activity protect against low back pain? Systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 prospective cohort studies article published in British Journal of Sports Medicine. Reuters Health referred to the research in the following news article: Being active may reduce risk of chronic low back pain.


Image for illustration purposes: Man suffering from back pain. Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia