People who take statins to lower their cholesterol may be more vulnerable to back disorders. Cardiologists do not all agree on whether statin drugs such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) or simvastatin (Zocor) lead to muscle or joint pain. As a result, we anticipate that not all doctors will concur that a statin could make your back sore.
What Is the Evidence that a Statin Could Make Your Back Sore?
Researchers used a military insurance database to compare patients taking statins with people not taking such medications. The investigators analyzed records of the 6,728 individuals in each group between 2003 and 2012.
Statin Users and Back Disorders:
The analysts found that people who used a statin for at least four months were 27 percent more likely than non-users to be diagnosed with a back disorder during this time. Such disorders include spinal problems such as spondylosis and intervertebral disc disorders. The authors suggest that statin use might contribute to the muscle pain often associated with these back problems. They warn, however, that the data from a military population might not apply to other groups of patients.
Critics of the study state that such observational studies create confusion for patients and physicians. They point out that the randomized controlled trials sponsored by drug companies did not detect a higher risk of back disorders associated with statin use.
You may be interested in a discussion we had last year with two experts, Dr. Sidney Smith of the University of North Carolina and Dr. Robert DuBroff, retired from the University of New Mexico, on how to maintain heart health. It is Show 1053.