When medical experts talk about back pain, most of the conditions associated with the pain are mechanical in nature. The root issue usually stems from a deficiency within the spine, like a herniated disc, a pressured nerve, or misaligned vertebrae. However, a small percentage of adults experience inflammatory back pain. This pain comes from inflamed spinal joints, typically the sacroiliac joints, which connect the spine and pelvis together. Inflammatory back pain comes from autoimmune diseases, the most common being non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Non-radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis – With this condition, patients feel pain and can’t move nearly as much as they should. This disease is the harder deficiency to spot, as X-rays tend to miss the inflammation, requiring MRI scans from doctors.
Ankylosing Spondylitis – This condition is easier to spot, as X-rays can reveal the damage between the spine and joints due to inflammation. Determining which autoimmune diseases causes the inflammatory back pain informs medical experts on how to best treat a patient.
Unlike many other back pain conditions, inflammatory back pain tends to start at a younger age. Young adults between 20 to 30 years old start feeling symptoms like skin rash psoriasis, arthritis from infection, and inflamed bowels (typically classified either as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease). Patients tend to classify the back pain itself as a type of stiffness that they feel early in the morning and lasts throughout the day. The pain usually starts the night before, does not improve with rest, and lasts for more than three months. The stiffness tends to improve with exercise, but for some, the pain may be too intense to follow a regular exercise routine or even a daily work routine.
As mentioned before, the right treatment for inflammatory back pain depends on the cause of the pain itself. Opinions differ among general practitioners on the best form of alleviating the pain. If you believe you are experiencing inflammatory back pain symptoms and are in the New Jersey Area, Garden State Pain Center is a specialized clinic run by doctors who focus on treating pain. With over 50 years of combined experience, they can help you determine the nature of your pain and how to address it. Contact one of our New Jersey locations today to set an appointment.