16:24 PM

Got back pain? It could be caused by arthritis. Here's how to tell

Yahoo! Life interviews HSS rheumatologist Ashira D. Blazer, MD, MSCI, on how to tell if arthritis is causing your back pain and how to get relief.

According to Dr. Blazer, there are a few signs to tell typical back pain from arthritis pain including stiffness in the morning. “Most people who have everyday back pain don't have too much stiffness in the morning," said Dr. Blazer says. “People with typical back pain may feel slightly stiff for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning, but those with pain from arthritis may have pain that lasts more than an hour or two.” She continued “If you have back pain that's waking you up at nighttime, that might be suggestive [of arthritis].” Additionally, it's possible to just have arthritis in your back, however if you have a form of autoimmune arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, you may also have a rash. "A lot of times our arthritis syndromes go along with more than just back pain," said Dr. Blazer.

In general, back pain is treated "holistically and with supportive care," noted Dr. Blazer, which include moving regularly, taking over the counter medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and even acupuncture. Additionally, moving regularly and eating a healthy diet can help lower the risk of developing arthritis, added Dr. Blazer, as well as having injuries properly treated. "One of the biggest causes for osteoarthritis progression is injury," stated Dr. Blazer. "We can have injuries or some sort of accident, and that can upset the support tissue in our joints. And often we don't go to physical therapy, we just sort of keep moving." Not taking the time to heal properly after an injury or making sure that your joints are moving well can raise the risk of developing arthritis later in life, she concluded.

Read the full article at Yahoo.com.