Several papers have been written on the association between trans fats and a wide range of diseases including Alzheimer’s, coronary heart disease, prostate cancer and obesity. There is also little debate that trans fats increase LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and decrease HDL (the good cholesterol). Now the question is, is there an association between trans fats, LDL cholesterol and LBP?
The branching arteries of the abdominal aorta, including the four paired lumbar arteries and the middle sacral artery feed the lumbar spine. Atherosclerosis in the wall of the abdominal aorta may block the relatively small orifices of lumbar and middle sacral arteries.
Obstruction of these arteries may lead to ischemia in the lumbar spine where the reduced blood flow into the intervertebral discs, vertebral bodies and myofascial structures could result in various back symptoms (Kauppila 2014).
Based on a systematic review …
- Post-mortem studies show an association between aortic atherosclerosis and DDD.
- Post-mortem studies show a strong association between occluded lumbar arteries and a life-time of LBP.
- Clinical studies show that stenosis of lumbar arteries is associated with both DDD and LBP.
- Epidemiological studies show that smoking and high serum cholesterol levels are the most consistent associations with DDD and LBP.
Perhaps focusing on BOTH physical activity & diet can help some of our patients with persistent LBP.