Lower back pain can indicate that you may have an incurable condition. Doctors advise people to consult their family doctor.
Back pain in adults is a very common problem. Some people have suffered from it for many years.
NINTCHDBPICT000304043242Credit to Alamy
CreakyJoints estimates that about 6 percent of people with chronic pain will eventually be diagnosed with axial spinal arthritis, or SpA for short.
It is estimated that one in 200 adults in the UK has an axial SpA.
According to the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society, charity, there is a general lack of awareness.
It’s most common in teens and early twenties. However, it can take up to 8.5 years to be diagnosed.
If left untreated, vertebral stiffening of the spine can occur, which can make everyday activities like putting on socks too painful.
In severe cases, new bone can form.
The first signs of pain often appear in their 20s when people start building relationships and careers.
Dr. Raj Sengupta
Axial SpA can also be referred to as “arthritis only”. When patients come to terms with it and accept that they have an incurable or progressive disease, the effects are immense.
Treatment focuses on relieving patients’ pain rather than stopping the disease from getting worse.
Dr. Raj Sengupta, NASSHe medical advisor, told the Daily Mail, “It is heartbreaking for a rheumatologist to see patients in a clinic who have had back pain for years and the cause is attributed to sports injuries or work.
“I will see up to five of these patients a week.
“The pain often first appears when someone is in their twenties, when building relationships, a career, and struggling with symptoms. This can lead to psychological problems and further damage to the spine. “
The condition causes pain in the lower back, hips, and spine.
However, buttock pain is a common feature that can lead to misdiagnosis.
Do you feel back pain?
Everyone has back pain from time to time.
However, if you have back pain, an axial spa may be an option.
- Start before the age of 45
- It takes at least 3 months (can be extended).
- The nights are worse, usually in the second half.
- Activity and movement improve, and rest deteriorates.
- Responds well to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin
- This is often the case with “alternating buttock pain”.
- Often occurs with reduced spinal flexibility, which can become so severe that people can no longer perform their daily activities
Dr. Sengupta, also a consultant rheumatologist at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, said: “In Axial SpA, the major joints are the sacroiliac joints, which are above the buttocks, and inflammation in these joints is one of the most important functions.
“The buttock pain radiates from the joints and can go from side to side – this is a classic sign of axial SpA – or just stay on one or both sides.
“The problem with gluteal pain is that it’s often mistaken for sciatica, a common condition caused by irritation of one of the two sciatic nerves that emerges from the spinal cord.
“Sciatica causes pain and tingling in the buttocks and radiates down the leg to the feet, but with axial spa treatment, the buttock pain does not radiate directly to the leg and knee.
“Some people are told they have sciatica when they actually have sacroiliac joint inflammation caused by axial SpA.”
There are two types of Axial SpA: non-radiographic and ankylosing.
The main difference is that non-radiographic spondylitis tends to be the early stage of the disease and doesn’t show up on an x-ray.
It can take many years to be diagnosed. There is no visible damage on X-rays until the condition has become ankylosing.
People with non-radiographic spondylitis may have inflammation visible on an MRI. This can help diagnose the condition early on.
A blood test can be used to see if you have high markers of inflammation or HLA-B27 (a gene found in about 80 percent of people with axial SpA).
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