Review | Volume 16 Number 2: 0 | 27 May 2021

Algorithm for the referral of patients with inflammatory back pain from primary care in Malaysia


Chronic low back pain, defined as back pain lasting for more than three months, can be divided into mechanical or inflammatory back pain (IBP). IBP typically starts in patients below the age of 40, is improved with activity and worsens with rest. IBP is strongly associated with axial spondyloarthritis. Early recognition of IBP among primary care physicians is essential for timely diagnosis and intervention to ensure the best outcomes for patients with axial spondyloarthritis. This paper describes the Malaysian Society of Rheumatology’s recently developed Inflammatory Back Pain Referral Algorithm for primary care physicians, which aims to facilitate the early identification and referral of IBP patients to rheumatologists.