Are Your Genes Causing Low Back Pain?

Your genes might be causing your low back pain, especially in the lumbar area. 

If you are suffering from chronic low back pain along with close members of your family, your genes could be the reason. 

Are your mother, father, brother, sister, or grandparents also affected? 

It’s not surprising that you and members of your family experience low back pain. 

Genes Low Back Pain

There are various studies to support that there can be a link between your back pain and your genes. 

But of course, lower back pain can be caused by a combination of circumstances, for instance: 

  • Age
  • Your Job 
  • Posture 
  • Environmental Factors 
  • Genetics 

Especially when it came to ruling out the environmental factors as the only cause of the pain (which could be, for instance, smoking, a special diet, stress, if you live in an area with clean air), researchers had difficulties.


Fortunately, over the past years, significant progress was made, and today there is some evidence that genetics is an important factor as the cause of back pain.

 Genetics seem to have an impact, especially in the lumbar area. 

Also, the genes seem to play a significant role in the number of degenerative disc disease occurrences

Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the disc is damaged from the wear and tear process over the years and is typically associated with aging. 


If you want to know more about how genetics might be the reason for your lower back pain, we have researched some studies for you:

Study 1

A genetics and lumbar disc disease study found indications that back pain may run in families. 

This study from 2011 discovered that the symptomatic lumbar disc disease could be inherited from your family members. 

The symptomatic lumbar disc disease is a condition influenced by degeneration or herniated discs in the lower part of the back.

The study didn’t determine any severity of the situation nor the response of the affected patients to any treatment. Still, it became clear that genetics can play an essential role. Other notable conclusions from this research are:

  • Patients with lumbar disc disease are more likely to have members in the family who also suffer from disc disease.
  • The chance of lumbar disc disease was increased in close relatives and also not so closely related family members.

If you are interested, you can find the study here.


Study 2

A large study from 2009 was done in Canada, the US, Finland, and other countries. 

It also investigated the influence of genetics on lumbar disc degeneration. The outcome was not only further evidence that genes play an essential role, but the researches were also able to identify the specific genes that can likely be associated with disc degeneration. 

Even though external factors like the environment can contribute to the cause, the research found that disc degeneration seems to be determined by genetic influence. 

More information can be found here.


If you are in pain, you should always see your doctor first and talk about possible treatments. 

Whether your genes are part of the reason for your lower back pain or not – it is always a good idea to consult with a medical professional.