Stop Eating An Unhealthy Diet
What’s your diet got to do with arthritis? Eating well and maintaining your ideal weight is especially important if you’ve got arthritis. Excess pounds can put lots of stress on weight-bearing joints, which is likely to make arthritis pain worse. Even moderate weight gain can stress joints that are already burdened by arthritis.
Types Of Spinal Arthritis
Arthritis can develop in any joint of the body, including the spinal vertebrae. The most common types of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disorder where the body attacks and destroys joint cartilage.
- Osteoarthritis: A wear-and-tear disorder in which the cartilage weakens and breaks down over time. Also called degenerative joint disease, it is the most common type of arthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis: Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the joints and the areas where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones. When it occurs in the spine, it is called ankylosing spondylitis . In severe cases, it can lead to several vertebra fusing together.
Several factors can increase your risk of developing arthritis of the spine. These include excess weight, menopause, diabetes, genetics, previous injuries and repetitive movements from certain occupations or activities that put excess stress on the spine.
What Will Happen To Me
For most people low back pain is an unpleasant but common condition that settles down fairly quickly. This usually takes 1-2 weeks but can last several weeks for some people. After two months, 9 out of 10 people will have recovered. For many people, low back pain can return over the years but your experience and learnings from your previous bout can support you in returning to normal function more quickly.
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Opportunities For Activity Year
Bright, warm weather offers plenty of opportunity for year-round outdoor activity, a crucial part of managing osteoarthritis. While aches and pains can tempt a person to take it easy, over and again research shows that movement helps in painful joints.
Pro-tip: In colder but still arthritis-friendly cities like Denver, bundling up is key to staying active outside year round.
The Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Spine
Back pain due to arthritis manifests through some very specific symptoms. These symptoms are important to note as these can be used by doctors to better diagnose the specific back pain you are suffering from.
- Stiffness in the neck and back which is also accompanied by pain, in most cases a debilitating kind of pain.
- The pain from the neck and back can go all the way down to the arms and even to the legs. This wider reach of the pain often reveal the severity of the damage in the cartilages.
- One common observation by sufferers of the condition is that the pain is reduced when they lie down flat in the bed.
Like any other causes of back pain, the severity of the discomfort can vary widely. The pain however is not the only problem faced by people who are suffering from the condition. The pain and the limitation it can impose on them at work and at home can make them feel helpless. This can easily progress to depression later on.
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Fatigue And Brain Fog Are Real But There Are Ways To Manage It
Fatigue is a common symptom of RA, and it may also indicate a new flare-up.
With RA fatigue, you may feel exhausted and weak during the day, but may not necessarily feel sleepy. Excessive fatigue can also make it more difficult to concentrate or recall information, two symptoms of brain fog.
While fatigue may ease with treatment, its possible to experience this symptom over the long term. You can help fight fatigue and brain fog by:
- sticking with a regular sleep schedule at night
- getting enough exercise during the day
- eating a balanced diet
The Best Places To Live With Arthritis: 14 Great Options
For anyone living with osteoarthritis, there are many challenges they face daily. From tying their shoes to making trips to the store, every task can be made harder by the joint pain of this wear-and-tear condition. One potential solution? Finding one of the best places to live with arthritis in the United States, which can make your life easier and may just ease your pain. Here are the 14 best cities to live in with arthritis .
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Problems With Solving Problems
Remember too that some problems are harder to solve than others especially those that have taken a while to develop and may include many factors. Sometimes there may not be a good answer or solution in which case simply talking about your frustrations with a friend relative or counselor may be your best solution for now.
How Can I Manage Oa And Improve My Quality Of Life
CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
- Learn self-management skills. Join a self-management education class, which helps people with arthritis and other chronic conditionsincluding OAunderstand how arthritis affects their lives and increase their confidence in controlling their symptoms and living well. Learn more about the CDC-recommended self-management education programs.
- Get physically active. Experts recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes per week of at least moderate physical activity. Every minute of activity counts, and any activity is better than none. Moderate, low impact activities recommended include walking, swimming, or biking. Regular physical activity can also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Learn more about physical activity for arthritis.
- Go to effective physical activity programs. For people who worry that physical activity may make OA worse or are unsure how to exercise safely, participation in physical activity programs can help reduce pain and disability related to arthritis and improve mood and the ability to move. Classes take place at local Ys, parks, and community centers. These classes can help people with OA feel better. Learn more about CDC-recommended physical activity programs.
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Its Possible To Have Both Ra And Lupus At The Same Time
Lupus is another type of autoimmune condition and it is possible to have RA and lupus symptoms occur together, a so-called overlap syndrome. Both conditions have similar joint symptoms, but lupus can also cause:
- skin rashes or ulcers
Both RA and lupus are inflammation-based, so the treatments may be similar.
However, its possible for RA symptoms to improve and for lupus to flare up. Its important to schedule appointments with your doctor for regular exams and blood work, as lupus may be more difficult to identify.
Osteoarthritis Of The Back/spine
Spinal OA can make it hard to get around. Treatment can ease your back pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects the back. It can occur anywhere along the spine. Usually the low back and sometimes the neck are affected.
In OA, the cartilage that pads the ends of the bones wears down. In spinal OA, this occurs in the facet joints small joints located between and behind vertebrae.
When you move, the bones rub together painfully. Bony growths form in the joints. These spurs can press on nerves, causing more pain.
Causes of Back/Spine OA
The cause of OA is unknown. Some common factors that play a role in OA include:
- Age: The older you are the greater your chance of having OA.
- Weight: People who are overweight are more likely to have OA.
- Stress: Repeated joint stress from work or sports can increase your risk.
- Injury: A back injury can lead to OA.
- Genetics: Some people have a family history of OA.
Symptoms of Back/Spine OA
Symptoms usually start slowly and get worse as time goes by. Pain and stiffness may be worst when you first wake up or after sitting for a long time. Pain can also get bad after being very active.
- Stiffness and a loss of flexibility: Turning your neck or straightening your back may be tough.
- Pain: Your low back is the most common site of pain.
- Crepitus: You may have a feeling of grinding when moving.
- Tenderness and swelling: Your back along the affected joints may be sore to the touch.
Diagnosing Back/Spine OA
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Making Daily Activities Easier
Cooking and cleanup
- Plan meals ahead to lessen last-minute tasks.
- Use electric appliances such as can openers, mixers, crock pots, microwave ovens, and dishwashers to get the job done with less energy and stress on your joints.
- Place a mixing bowl in the sink while stirring. A damp cloth underneath will help keep it from slipping. Hold the mixing spoon like a dagger to take stress off your hands.
- Hammer rustproof nails through a cutting board to secure vegetables while cutting.
- Use a French chef’s knife which keeps hands in good position for cutting slicing and chopping.
- Use disposable aluminum baking pans for easier cleanup.
- Spray a non-stick product on pans or line with foil before baking or frying. Use lightweight baking dishes, plates, pots, and pans and serve from them. Use a wheeled cart to move heavy items from place to place. Sit on a high stool while cooking or washing dishes. Store appliances within easy reach. Use long-handled reachers.
Laundry and housecleaning
In the bathroom
In the bedroom
- Keep files and supplies within easy reach.
- Use vertical files on your desk for current work.
- Install work assist arms or wrist rests at your keyboard.
- Use a glare screen and paper holder on your monitor.
- Use lateral file cabinets for easier access.
What Types Of Arthritis Can Affect Your Back
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of spinal arthritis, and the risk typically increases with age. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that cushions the ends of the joints wears away. As the cartilage degenerates, it can lead to pain and stiffness.
Spondyloarthritis is a term for different types of arthritis that share specific symptoms, typically inflammation in the spine. There are two main types of SpA: axial and peripheral .
Reactive arthritis is a kind of peripheral spondyloarthritis that occurs in response to an infection in your body, often caused by gastrointestinal conditions.
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Stress Management Is Crucial
Stress can increase your risk of developing an RA flare-up, and it may also worsen other conditions you have such as fibromyalgia.
Regular exercise and relaxation techniques can help manage your stress and keep inflammation down. Its important to take time out of each day for yourself, whether its to:
- take a short walk
- listen to relaxing music
Spinal Arthritis May Contribute To Other Issues In The Spine
Spinal arthritis may cause bone spurs overgrowths on the edges of the bones. In the spine, bone spurs particularly affect facet joints, making them grow larger. This condition is called facet joint hypertrophy. Although bone spurs on their own are not harmful, they may narrow the passages for the spinal cord and the nerves exiting the spine. This may lead to two painful conditions:
Spinal stenosis compression of the spinal cord inside the spinal canal
Radiculopathy pinching of the peripheral nerves as they exit the spine
Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause additional problems such as:
Stress fractures in places where new bone has formed
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
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What Types Of Climates Are Best For Arthritis Sufferers
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by joint pain that can go into remission, osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is ever present. Joints are swollen, stiff, and painful, easing perhaps with activity but chronic and progressive without treatment.
For most arthritis sufferers, the best places to live with arthritis have climates that are warm and dry. While it may sound like an old wives tale that a person can predict the rain with an ache in their knee, it could actually be accurate. Cold, damp climates cause the tissues in the body to expand. This expansion can place more pressure on the nerves in the joints, causing an increase in pain as a storm heads in.
People may be less likely to exercise when the weather outside is frightful, as well, and this can also lead to an increase in painful symptoms.
On the other hand, warm, dry climates with a relatively stable high barometric pressure may ease the stress on joints. This means that people with arthritis may have fewer painful episodes than those who live with dramatic, cold, and wet weather.
What Is Arthritis Of The Hand
Arthritis is a disease that attacks the tissues of your joints. A joint is where two bones meet. Arthritis can attack the lining of your joint or the cartilage, the smooth covering at the ends of bones. Eventually the cartilage breaks down, the ends of your bones become exposed, rub against each other and wear away. You have many joints in your hand, therefore its a common site for arthritis to happen.
Arthritis of the hand causes pain and swelling, stiffness and deformity. As arthritis progresses, you cant use your hands to manage everyday tasks as you once could.
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Rest Is Just As Important As Exercise
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends exercising regularly but resting more when your RA flares up.
Too much exercise especially during RA flare-ups may increase inflammation and make your symptoms worse. Regular rest can also lessen fatigue.
Your best bet is to listen to your body. You might consider taking a rest day or replacing your workout with gentle yoga stretches instead if youre:
- feeling run down
Spinal Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the spine.
Arthritis can occur anywhere along the spine, but is more frequent in the lower back and neck.
Pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of spinal arthritis.
Causes of spinal arthritis are still largely unknown except for osteoarthritis, which is typically a result of wear and tear.
Spinal arthritis treatment may include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy and surgery in severe cases.
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Why Do Other People’s Perceptions Matter
Many people think of arthritis as an old person’s disease or something that causes minor aches and pains. At the other extreme are those people who believe that nothing can be done for arthritis and that those who get it can expect to end up in a wheelchair. You may be accused of making too much of your arthritis or viewed with pity by people who think you’re on the verge of becoming totally disabled. You may feel put down if you’re told what you can’t do by an uninformed public or a well-meaning family member who just wants to protect you.
The negative perceptions of others may be among the most difficult challenges you have to face. When family and friends misunderstand you they may not be able to provide the support you need.
Misconceptions held by employers and the public can make it more difficult for you to work or get the services you need.
But you don’t have to accept other people’s ideas about you or your illness. Learn as much as you can about arthritis so you can have a realistic attitude about your condition. Then deal with people’s misinformed notions in a positive fashion. At times you may want to ignore comments from misguided friends. At other times you will want to explain your condition as soon as you become aware that someone has misconceptions. In a matter-of-fact way talk about arthritis and how it affects you. By educating others you can help promote a better understanding of arthritis.
How Is Back Arthritis Diagnosed
Diagnosing back arthritis starts with taking your medical history and conducting a physical examination of the back and legs to evaluate flexibility and ensure the nerves are working properly. Your doctor may ask you about:
- Where the pain is
- How long the pain has lasted
- What the pain feels like or how severe it is
- What activities or exercises worsen or lessen the pain
- How the pain is affecting your daily activities
What Is Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and the spine is one of the most commonly affected parts of the body. Osteoarthritis of the spine affects the back and neck.
Osteoarthritis of the neck is sometimes called cervical spondylosis. Spondylosis means arthritis in the spine, and cervical is the medical term for the neck.
The joints in your body go through a normal cycle of damage and repair during your lifetime. But sometimes the process your body goes through to repair joints can change their shape or structure. When these changes happen in one or more of your joints, its called osteoarthritis.
A joint is where two or more bones meet. You have a number of facet joints that sit on either side of your spine and guide the movement of the bones in your back and neck.
There are 33 vertebrae in your spine these start at the top of your neck and run all the way down your back, to your tailbone.
The spine is sometimes called the vertebral column or spinal column. Its purpose is to protect your spinal cord, carry the weight of your body and help you move around. The spine is split into five sections cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx.
Strong ligaments surround your spine and support the vertebrae, to help keep them in place.