Inflammatory Backache – a diagnostic challenge!

Many people think of back pain being caused by poor posture, lifting badly or even just ‘wear and tear’.

However, there is another group of patients who suffer from inflammatory backache. Although only a very small percentage of back pain sufferers have this, physiotherapists and chiropractors are trained to pick up possible tell-tale signs. This is important because the treatment approach is very different and, if caught early, can prevent more complications in later life.

 

Causes & Symptoms

Inflammation of the pelvic and spinal joints can have many causes.  The most common is ankylosing spondylitis but it can be associated with psoriasis, bowel inflammation or even a recent infection anywhere in the body.

Symptoms that may point to inflammatory back pain include:

  • Suffered back pain for more than 3 months (known as ‘chronic’)
  • Aged under 40 years
  • Gradual onset of pain
  • The pain and stiffness are improved with exercise
  • No improvement with rest

If you visit a practitioner such as a physiotherapist when you have back pain, they will take a detailed history, so it’s vital that you describe your pain and symptoms in full; this can help them to reach a diagnosis and, if necessary, make a referral to a rheumatologist for treatment of inflammatory back pain. Medication can help but rehabilitation and exercises to strengthen the back extensors and core muscles are also essential to obtain the best outcome possible. 

If chronic back pain is troubling you, the physiotherapists at The Iveson Clinic can help so call us on 01787 374964 to book an appointment.