Back pain - 17 year old female


Q: I am seventeen years old and I have been having this back issue since I was about 15 I believe. But whenever I have bend over and I try to straighten back up I have to do so slowly because it feels like my back is stuck in place temporaily and it is very uncomfortable & I have to take a minute to get back to normal...what is wrong with me?? Why do I eperience so much discomfort in my back?


A:   In your case, according to the description of your symptoms and your age, may be important to rule out a group of diseases called: spondyloarthropathies , these are chronic inflammatory diseases that involve the sacroiliac joints, axial skeleton (spine), and, to a lesser degree, peripheral joints and certain extra-articular organs, including the eyes, skin, and cardiovascular system. The etiology is unknown but involves the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The outcome in patients with spondyloarthropathies, including ankylosing spondylitis, is generally good compared with a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Some patients have few, if any, symptoms. A significant portion of patients develop chronic progressive disease and develop disability due to spinal inflammation leading to fusion, often with thoracic kyphosis or erosive disease involving peripheral joints, especially the hips and shoulders. Patients with spinal fusion are prone to spinal fractures that may result in neurologic deficits. Most functional loss in ankylosing spondylitis occurs during the first 10 years of illness. I strongly recommend that you get a complete evaluation (clinical, and with lab tests) to rule out these conditions and proceed to determine the best treatment option for your back pain.

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