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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Do ESR levels change with inflammation?

    I have been getting headaches, shoulder and neck pain on and off. My doctor has sent me for a range of blood tests including one for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Am I best off going for the blood test when I have a headache or sore muscles or is this not going to affect the results?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr Carolyn Ee

    Acupuncturist, GP (General Practitioner)

    I'm a Sydney GP with a special interest in women's health especially menopause and TTC ( trying to conceive). I specialise in acupuncture, and am … View Profile

    ESR is a measure of chronic (long standing) inflammation, so it does not matter if you are not having pain at the time of the blood test. I hope that helps.

  • 1


    Dr Tarryn Morrissey

    Chiropractor, Personal Trainer

    Tarryn has a special interest in maximising performance for athletes, and functional re-training.Tarryn primarily works with athletes, families and individuals with chronic problems. Tarryn has … View Profile

    A blood test which will measure the ESR will help to indicate if you have systemic inflammation (Inflammation throughout the body which is chronic in nature), however the result will not be affected if you have symptoms at the time of assessment. Your doctor may be trying to rule out a medical reason to explain the pain and symptoms. If your tests come back normal, your doctor might refer you to a chiropractor or an osteopath for further evaluation as the underlying cause of your issues may be a functional problem relating to muscles, joints and ligaments. Good luck with it

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