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Low back pain (LBP) is a common MSK problem globally and represents the leading cause of “years lived with disability” (Wu et al 2020).

Treatment and diagnosis of low back pain varies immensely depending on who you see and can be tricky to manage if you’ve had symptoms for longer than 3 months.

Inflammatory low back pain is slightly different in its symptom presentation and management. It is strongly associated with (but not diagnostic of) several inflammatory conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or psoriatic arthritis (Lassiter and Allam 2021).

Important: please read

We are not rheumatology specialists here and this blog post does not constitute a diagnosis or advice on diagnoses. This is merely designed to raise awareness to other causes of low back pain. If you have any of these symptoms, you might wish to consult a healthcare professional and discuss them.

Please check out this incredible Physio’s website for more detail around all things Rheumatological.

https://rheumatology.physio/an-introduction-to-rheumatoid-arthritis-for-therapists/

The symptoms of inflammatory low back pain

You will see that some of these symptoms can be linked with other low back pain diagnoses.

Firstly, have you had low back pain for over 3 months before the age of 45?

Do you have 4 or more of these additional symptoms?

  • LBP that started before 35
  • Waking during the second half of the night
  • Buttock pain
  • Improvement in symptoms with movement
  • Improvement within 48 hours of taking NSAIDS (anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen)
  • A relative with a rheumatological condition
  • Current or past arthritis
  • Current or past enthesitis (inflammation of the enthesis, the area where your tendons or ligaments attach to the bone)
  • Current or past psoriasis

If this picture looks familiar, you might wish to consult a healthcare professional and discuss the symptoms with them for advice.

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