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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Lower Back Pain With X-Ray/Blood Test Results

 jaylotheman - Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:40 pm

Hello I was working out about a month and a half ago and my lower back started to accutely hurt. I'd had this happen a couple of times before as well, twice before in the last 3 years I'd say and have had physio treatments each time because of it. I went to the doctor and he got me some blood work done and said that he ruled out Lupus and Ankylosing Spondylitis. However that my ESR rate was slightly high (13mm/hr) and CRP was normal (5mg/L). My X-Rays came out okay, he said that there was a minor curve in my lower spine that could explain the pain I'd been having on and off the last few years but he thought that it was very minor and likely there since birth. My SI joint showed minor useage (wear and tear). He put me on Naproxen and told me to take it for a month once a day and get another blood test to see how I was doing.

It's been about a month and a half and the pain is much better. I've been doing back stretches/exercises everyday as instructed by my physiotherapist and have been going in for weekly sessions. I'm still not 100% however I'm able to do things much better than before. However my blood tests state that my ESR is a bit higher (16mm/hr) and now my CRP is a bit high as well (14mg/L).

He's referring me to a specialist to see, however that could take weeks/months to get a chance to see him, I'm wondering what this could be, as my levels don't seem extremely high however they are moderately high and as I said my pain is BETTER than before, however still there somewhat.

Please advise, thank-you.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:28 pm

User avatar Hello,
The sed rate and CRP (C-reactive protein) are called acute phase reactants. They increase in the blood stream in response to inflammation.

So the concern when these general and non specific markers increase for a prolonged period of time is that a disease process is causing the signs and symptoms - e.g. in your case - lingering back pain.

With a negative screen for connective tissue or autoimmune disorders e.g. Lupus - there is less expectation of underlying disease.

Again, it appears the physician is making sure with the elevated acute phase reactants are not caused by an underlying disease process.

Take care.

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