Mystery Back Pain Can Signal a Hidden (and Serious) Problem
You’ve heard of rheumatoid arthritis. But an equally common type of arthritis is probably not on your radar.
Spondyloarthritis is a diagnosis doctors often miss. Yet it affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population (over 3 million people).
One reason spondyloarthritis is under-recognized is that its main symptom — chronic low back pain — affects 20 percent of adults at any given time.
“Sorting out spondyloarthritis from mechanical or benign back problems is a challenge. But we need to get better at recognizing it,” says rheumatologist Leonard Calabrese, DO.
“This formidable inflammatory disease causes pain, impairs function and significantly compromises quality of life. While we have good treatments for it, they work better in the early stages.”