Sexism warning for low back pain in women

Experts say Australians could face devastating consequences if doctors put women’s health concerns aside.

This is because young women have been warned not to ignore the symptoms of painful joint disease commonly associated with men.

Researchers recently found that axial spondyloarthritis, a type of arthritis that affects the joints that connect the spine to the pelvis, is equally common in men and women, despite its historical link to men. .

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A German study published in May found that it manifests differently between men and women, with men showing structural changes in joints earlier, and women’s peripheral joints being affected more frequently.

Caused by the immune system attacking healthy tissue, this condition can cause joints to deteriorate and sometimes adhere, causing crippling pain and stiffness.

Changes in men often show up on x-rays, but women may need much more sensitive imaging for diagnosis and treatment.

“Unfortunately, women continue to be underrepresented in this field, and for the hundreds of thousands of women, many of whom are living with undiagnosed conditions, we are committed to changing the ‘bias’ of gender health. requires greater awareness.

Conditions like axial spondyloarthritis are the rheumatologist’s “bread and butter,” but some general practitioners may be stuck in the notion that it’s usually a male disease, she said. .

Australian Arthritis would like to see more awareness among practitioners of the gender differences in the condition, as well as community awareness of the disease, especially among young women.

The condition generally strikes adults in their mid-twenties, with the first symptoms being pain and stiffness in the back, a key feature being the worsening of the pain with rest.

Delayed diagnosis could lead to irreversible spinal cord injury, warns Arthritis Australia.

There is no cure for axial spondyloarthritis, and some treatments are not as effective in women as they are in men, Dr. Proudman said. Further research is needed on this issue.

Recognizing axial spondyloarthritis as a “male” condition is a very common situation in medical history, according to the Sydney-based George Institute for Global Health.

Sheryl Kasel, principal investigator of sex and gender differences in health, points to cardiovascular disease as one of the undertreated conditions in women.

Gender bias in the healthcare sector can be traced back to medical researchers, who have historically excluded women from many trials.

They are often seen as either unstable due to hormones or at risk due to possible pregnancy, Dr. Carsel said.

“Ignoring gender and gender differences can undermine scientific accuracy,” she said.

“It can lead to adverse health outcomes (and) increased health care costs as patients return to the hospital.”

However, the establishment of a women-centered cardiovascular care center has given Dr. Carsel reassurance that the healthcare sector is moving in a direction to become more gender-aware.

Referrals to Victoria’s first women’s heart health-focused clinic have surged by more than 40% in the past six months.

Despite waking up as a young child unable to get out of bed, Sydney Sider’s Nikki Thor’s brother was diagnosed with axial spondyloarthritis, a condition she received in her 20s because the condition is genetic. That’s when I found out about something.

Now 41, she is about to start taking immunosuppressants. Her doctor noticed that many of her joints may have been fused together.

“I’m fine, but I don’t want to be in a wheelchair or[stuck]in bed at 50 when my bones start to melt. My kids are still young,” she said. .

Arthritis Australia this month launched ‘MyAS’, an online resource to help patients with axial spondyloarthritis understand their condition.

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Peter Frey

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Sexism warning for low back pain in women

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