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Doctors often miss THIS rare infection that's causing your back pain

by , 03 August 2015

Do you suffer from back pain and not understand why? It could be a spine infection, according to new research. The infection - called vertebral osteomyelitis - could lead to paralysis or even death if left untreated.

And here's the scary thing: Doctors OFTEN miss this rare infection. Read on to find out more.

Why doctors often overlook spine infections

The new study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, explains that back pain is so common, that doctors often put it down to a pulled muscle or an old injury. 
Study author Dr Elie Berbari, chair of education at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in the US, reports: “Back pain usually isn’t caused by infection. This is why diagnosis is often missed or delayed.”

Only 2 to 6 in every 100,000 people get a spine infection each year

So yes, the condition is pretty rare. It develops when bacteria enters your bloodstream and lodges in a spinal disc. According to Dr Berbari, it’s most common in the elderly.

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The infection causes severe pain that often wakes the person at night. The pain doesn’t go away after pain management or rest and a high fever often accompanies it.

How to tell if you have a spine infection

If you’re concerned, a simple blood test, MRI or biopsy will tell you if you have a spine infection. 
Treatment typically involves six weeks of intravenous antibiotics. However, half of patients may have to undergo surgery to remove the infection, Berbari said.

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