Lupus - Pain In Neck & Back

Medical Author:

In medicine, it is not uncommon for two events to both be true, yet not related. This means that each has a defined cause and that they are occurring together. However, they are in fact independent conditions. Here is an excellent example from a question that I was asked the other day by a viewer that involves illness in a patient with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus).

The viewer asked, "I heard that the spine is not involved in lupus. Is this true,  and if so, why? Does this mean that my neck and back pain are due to something else?"

Here is my response: Lupus is an immune disease that can attack many internal organs and tissues. The classic parts of the skeleton that can be affected by the inflammation of lupus are the peripheral joints - the joints away from the spine, such as the small joints of the hands and feet, the wrists, knees, elbows, ankles, and shoulders.  Lupus commonly causes arthritis in these joints. The spine is generally spared from the inflammation of lupus.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2015