Do you wake up with lower back stiffness and discomfort?  Millions of people, young and old are afflicted with back pain, which can become very debilitating, and becoming a chronic condition.

There is a type of back pain, known as ankylosing spondylitis, which is actually the result of one’s immune system attacking the spine.  This should never be allowed to become a chronic condition. Inflammatory back pain usually causes lots of stiffness upon awakening.

For example, patients complain of prolonged stiffness in the mornings, sometimes lasting over an hour. The stiffness may gradually improve with moving and stretching. Some patients find it difficult to sleep through the night, waking up in the latter half of the night with buttock and lower back pain and stiffness.

If you have underlying psoriasis of the skin, inflammatory bowel disease such as crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, history of Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, you may be at more risk of developing this inflammatory back pain.   

Far too often, we see cases where patients have suffered from decades of back pain, only to find out they had this type of inflammatory back pain, which would have fairly immediately responded to appropriate treatment, if it had been properly diagnosed.

With the advances in rheumatology and drugs that have been recently discovered, this condition has the potential to go into remission. That means if you are suffering from inflammatory back pain, it should become history, with the right treatment. Prompt and early diagnosis is key to managing this condition.

Any patient younger than 45 years of age, who awakens with back pain and stiffness lasting longer than 30 minutes, would benefit from a rheumatologic consultation for inflammatory back pain.

Back Pain
Dr. Mahsa Tehrani

Dr. Mahsa Tehrani, M.D.  is co-founder of Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinical Center of Northern Virginia located in Fairfax. Dr. Tehrani is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.  She can be reached at 703-734-2222.

Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic of Northern Virginia proudly serves  Vienna, Tyson’s Corner, Fairfax, Great Falls, Mclean, Falls Church, Dunn Loring, Sterling, Herndon, Chantilly, Reston, Ashburn, Leesburg, Burke, Annandale, Arlington, Oakton, Washington D.C., Bethesda, Potomac, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Rockville and more.