What You Need to Know about Diabetes and Back Pain

What You Need to Know about Diabetes and Back Pain

If you have diabetes, you already have a lot to worry about. Putting back pain on that list doesn’t really seem fair. That’s why we put together this information so you can easily manage your back pain and anything else on your plate. 

How are diabetes and back pain connected? Does Diabetes Cause Back Pain?

If you have diabetes, does that mean you’re at a higher risk for back pain?  If you manage your diabetes well, you don’t have much to worry about. One study concluded that it’s uncontrolled diabetes that might lead to chronic back pain. But there are a few correlations between diabetes and back pain that you might be interested to learn.

Neuropathy, which is damage, disease, or dysfunction of one or more nerves, might be linked to diabetes. In fact, it’s called diabetic neuropathy which is when high glucose levels damage your nerves and cause burning or shooting pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness. This can result in chronic back pain as well. 

Obesity. Unfortunately, obesity often means more back pain because of the extra weight and demand added to your muscles and ligaments. Fortunately, managing your diabetes, exercising, and eating healthy foods can help reduce your back pain, even if your weight doesn’t go down. 

What can you do for your back pain?

Thankfully, there is plenty you can do to manage your back pain, even if you have diabetes as well. Here are a few simple things that can help relieve your back pain:

  1. Try the Chirp Wheel. The Chirp Wheel is a back pain relief device that is shaped like a wheel to fit between your shoulder blades and release tension right where you need it. It is a sturdy object tested to hold up to 500 pounds so you can really put pressure into your back muscles and start feeling better again.
  2. Exercise and stretch. Exercising and stretching frequently does wonders for back pain, such as increasing blood flow for faster healing, releasing muscle tension, and helping your mind feel at ease. Even 30 minutes of simple walking, yoga, or whatever you love can help reduce your back pain and get you feeling like yourself again.
  3. Quit smoking. Smoking is actually bad for your back as well as your lungs. It decreases blood flow and makes nerves more sensitive overtime. Although quitting smoking is a difficult thing to do, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you quit. Check out this from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/index.html
  4. Manage your diabetes. Living with diabetes is not easy, but it is possible. The first step is educating yourself. The more you know about what is happening to your body, the more you’ll understand how to best manage it for yourself and still live a happy life. Check out this resource https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963. Even if you already know a lot about managing your diabetes, reading more about it might help give you an extra push to try managing it better. Doing this will also help reduce your back pain in the long run.
  5. Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you find the source of your back pain, whether or not it is related to your diabetes. He or she will have some great insights to help you feel good again.


CDC. (2021). How to quit smoking. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/index.html

Mayo Clinic. (2021). Diabetes management: how lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963

Phan, M. K. (2021). 3 ways to stop diabetes back pain. Retrieved from https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/back-pain/stop-diabetes-back-pain#:~:text=Diabetic%20neuropathy%20is%20nerve%20damage,lead%20to%20chronic%20back%20pain.

Rinaldo, L., McCutcheon, B. A., Gilder, H., Kerezoudis, P., Murphy, M., Maloney, P., Hassoon, A., & Bydon, M. (2017). Diabetes and Back Pain: Markers of Diabetes Disease Progression Are Associated With Chronic Back Pain. Clinical diabetes : a publication of the American Diabetes Association, 35(3), 126–131. https://doi.org/10.2337/cd16-0011