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Spinal disorders and back pain 

Spinal disorders and back pain
Spinal disorders and back pain

Gavin Clunie

, Nick Wilkinson

, Elena Nikiphorou

, and Deepak R. Jadon

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date: 26 June 2022

The Oxford Handbook of Rheumatology, 4th edition, chapter on ‘Spinal disorders and back pain’ brings together a pragmatic approach to categorizing back pain, how to investigate disorders presenting with back pain, and how to treat adults, children, and adolescents with back pain. In the chapter, the management of back pain is separated into acute, subacute, and chronic presenting scenarios and the text makes reference to other chapters in the book where there may be some additional useful information (e.g. spondyloarthritis-associated back pain in Chapter 8 and chronic pain syndromes in Chapter 22). Notably the chapter is best read in conjunction with relevant sections in Chapter 3 (‘Regional musculoskeletal symptoms: making a working diagnosis’). The chapter makes reference to the need for a rigorous diagnostic approach to all the conditions which cause back pain, and at whatever age. There are subsections on how to assess paediatric spinal disorders and how to take a broad holistic approach to managing chronic back pain where there is no specific diagnosis.

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