What Is Arthritis Back Pain
Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints and it affects every single joint in the human body. Once diagnosed with arthritis, a person can only slow down the effect and reduce the symptoms. This situation cant be cured.
Almost 28% of the US adults are affected by this condition. Arthritis causes immobilization and reduces flexibility.
Depending upon the body part affected, there are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, Polymyalgia rheumatic, fibromyalgia, Enteropathic arthritis, Cervical spondylosis that affect various parts of the body.
One of the common arthritis is spinal arthritis that specifically affects the spine. One of the common symptoms is an intense back pain.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Nonsurgical Treatment For Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
If osteoarthritis of the spine is diagnosed early, doctors may recommend nonsurgical treatment to manage symptoms. NYU Langone physicians, physical therapists, and physiatrists, who specialize in rehabilitation medicine, can help you relieve pain and stiffness, improve flexibility, and build strength in muscles that support the spine.
These treatments do not reverse damage to cartilage or bone or prevent the progression of osteoarthritis, but they may make it possible for you to continue an active lifestyle.
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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Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of spinal arthritis. It usually affects the lower back and develops through wear and tear. As the cartilage between the joints slowly breaks down, it leads to inflammation and pain. Because the pain is from mechanical damage, it is typically more noticeable when you bend or twist your back. Past back injuries may also contribute to the development of degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Osteoarthritis of the spine usually affects the facet joints between the vertebrae. It is also known as facet joint arthritis, facet joint syndrome and facet disease. In some cases, degeneration of the spinal discs may contribute to facet joint arthritis. As discs between the vertebrae become thinner, more pressure is transferred to the facet joints. This leads to more friction and more damage to the cartilage.
When these degenerative changes occur in the neck, this condition is called cervical spondylosis. Arthritis in the neck doesnt always cause pain, and many people have no noticeable symptoms.
Vaccine For Rheumatoid Arthritis In Back Pain A Step Closer To Reality
Rheumatoid arthritis is a frustrating condition, especially for older victims, because contrary to conventional wisdom, it doesnt just affect the joints. In total, there are more than 450,000 just in Australia who are living with the condition. Unfortunately, in more severe cases, it can affect the persons heart, lungs, eyeseven blood vessels. It becomes an extremely uncomfortable condition. However, there may be hope on the horizon. A new vaccine approach to treating Rheumatoid Arthritis in back has been developed by researchers at the University of Queensland. And so far, the results have been promising.
Over the past several years, university researchers have tested their vaccine on laboratory mice and subsequently, a few human volunteers
In-phase one of the clinical trial, they have found the vaccine to be both effective and safe for the general public. In this Phase One, after seeing the effect on the mice, they took patient blood samples and added in an experimental anti-inflammatory along with a foreign peptide. They injected this combination of material into the arthritis in back pain patient. They were more than pleased with the resultsthe first time that there was no sign of the vaccine being rejected by the human body.
In addition, the professor notes that their research, while intended to aid arthritis sufferers, will have side benefits for patients with other chronic conditions.
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What Are Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Back
Common symptoms of arthritis in the back include:
- Stiffness or reduced flexibility in the spine
- Functional limitations, such as inability to perform everyday activities
- Tenderness of the affected vertebrae
- Grinding feeling when moving the spine
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, or sharp pains in the arms or legs
Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Goals
The vast majority of people with degenerative disc disease experience low back pain symptoms that flare up periodically, but do not get worse over time. For those people, the main goals for managing lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease are usually:
- Achieving enough pain relief to be able to engage in lower back pain exercises and a rehabilitation program
- Trying to manage the low back pain and maintaining an ability to function at home and at work.
Once a disc has degenerated, the degenerative process cannot be reversed. Instead of trying to rehabilitate the disc itself, treatment focuses on improving the health of surrounding structures, such as the spinal nerves, vertebral bones and joints, and supporting muscles and ligaments.
The main goals of the rehabilitation program include a therapist-guided and individual approach, which aim to2:
- Increase, restore, and/or maintain the range of motion in the affected spinal segment
- Build physical strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and endurance in the lower back and legs
- Guide patients to make ergonomic changes in their workspace and home to support the spine and prevent recurrence of pain
- Teach the correct use of posture while sitting, walking, sleeping, and lifting to promote maximum function with lesser pain
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Treatments For Back Pain
More than 85 percent of people with lower back pain improve with minimal treatment in a matter of days. However, if back problems persist, doctors generally prescribe one or more of the following treatments: proper exercise, rest, heat and cold, posture training, weight loss, stress management and relaxation exercises, medication, spinal manipulation and/or surgery. For some back conditions, the doctor may refer you to another specialist such as an orthopedist, rheumatologist, physiatrist, physical or occupational therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or surgeon.
Heat And Cold Therapy
Scientists have proven that applying heat or cold continuously or in frequent intervals can considerably reduce even chronic back pain and offer great relief.
Heat can be either moist or dry. Heating lamps, pads, and wearable heat packs are some of the dry heat sources. A warm bath and warm clothes that are soaked in warm water can be the moist sources.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Cold compressor filled with ice, cold therapy are also beneficial. However, it should be noted that ice should never be applied directly to the skin as it can cause sudden sensation in the nerves and joints around the area.
Also, keeping ice for too long can result in joint stiffness and may even increase the pain. A period of 20-25 minutes is considered as ideal and it can be done 2-3 times a day for best results.
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Floor Exercises For Your Core Muscles
These first 4 exercises will strengthen your lower back, abdominal, and/or pelvic floor muscles. Targeted exercises are useful for these muscle groups, because they may not get much use during daily activities.
This exercise involves a very slight internal movement that isolates and strengthens your core and pelvic floor muscles:
Do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Nondrug Therapies And Lifestyle Changes To Ease Back Pain
Learn how assistive devices, mind-body therapies and healthy choices can provide back pain relief.
An estimated 50 percent to 80 percent of American adults will experience back pain. Whether because of a traumatic accident, a simple injury or osteoarthritis, there are ways to find relief. If you have a type of inflammatory arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis or non-radiographic axial spondylarthritis, you also need to seek care from a rheumatologist to manage the inflammation that is driving your back pain. But these self-care tips can help to ease back pain.
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Prevent It In The First Place
Do exercises to enhance the core muscles sustaining your spinal column, as well as your abdominal, back, and also hip muscular tissues. Avoid any kind of workout that causes you to stretch your back to the point of pain. Bend at the knees when raising a heavy item, as well as keep it near your body with your knees somewhat curved as you hold it. Exercise great stance: Do not sag when you sit, and also utilize the muscles in your shoulders as well as abdominal areas to maintain your spine in a neutral placement.
People with back pain in some cases also suffer from depression. Treating depression can reduce the pain due to the fact that the very same chemical messengers in the mind influence your state of mind and just how you perceive discomfort. The antidepressant duloxetine is FDA-approved for dealing with chronic lower back pain. A word of warning: The medicine can trigger uncommon but serious negative effects, including lowered blood pressure and danger of liver failure.
Treating And Managing Flare
Talk to your doctor about how to handle flare-ups, and let them know if they happen a lot. They may need to change your treatment plan.
Some flare-ups get better after you rest and take over-the-counter pain meds for a couple of days. Call your doctor if they last longer than that, or if your symptoms are intense.
Medication changes. You might need to adjust your medication temporarily, or add a new one. Medicines that can help with flares include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , either prescription or over-the-counter. You may take them as a pill or put them on your skin. Acetaminophen helps some people. Your doctor may also inject steroids into your joints.
Rest. One of the best ways to deal with a flare is to take it easy. Take a sick day if you need to. Ask family members to help out with chores. But try not to stop moving completely. Do a few gentle stretches to keep yourself from getting stiff.
Hot and cold therapies. Moist heat around your joints boosts blood flow and relaxes muscles. A warm paraffin wax dip may make your hands or feet feel better. A special machine heats the wax, which is the same type used in candles.
If too much exercise causes flare-ups for you, use an ice pack right after your workout to ease pain. A cold compress may help at other times, too. Cold constricts your blood vessels, which decreases blood flow. That leads to less pain.
Limit the use of either of these methods to two to four times a day, for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
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What Other Steps Can I Take To Manage Or Treat Ankylosing Spondylitis
In addition to standard AS treatments, these steps may also help ease inflammation and pain:
- Eat a nutritious diet: Fried foods, processed meats and foods high in fat and sugar can have an inflammatory effect. Anti-inflammatory diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, may help fight inflammation.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity and excess weight puts pressure on joints and bones.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can weaken bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
- Stop smoking: Tobacco use accelerates spinal damage and intensifies pain. Your provider can help you quit smoking.
How Back Pain Can Affect You
If you suffer from back pain, you may find it harder to do certain things such as going up stairs and lifting heavy objects . You may also experience tingling and numbness. This can interrupt your daily routine and affect your quality of life.
*GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report, p.20 **GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report, p.11
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When To See A Doctor
Even though it’s common, most cases of back pain tend to clear up without the need to see a doctor.
You should see your doctor if your pain:
- is really bad
- lasts for a long time
- stops you from working or doing the things you enjoy
- affects your everyday activities
- gets worse.
You should also see your doctor if you have any changes in sexual function, for example, being unable to get an erection.
If the pain is causing you significant problems and stops you from getting on with normal life and work activities, your doctor will examine you and ask you questions.
These questions will help predict how likely it is that you need further help with your back pain. If you do need further support, your doctor will make a referral to physiotherapy so that you can have treatment early, to help with the pain and return to normal activities.
Its natural to want to know what has caused your back pain. However, specialists may not be able to tell you for certain what has caused your back pain, even after carefully assessing you.
If youre concerned about the cause of your back pain, it can help to talk openly about any worries with a healthcare professional, as reducing any fear may help speed up your recovery.
Prescription Medications For Spinal Osteoarthritis
Prescription strength NSAIDs are stronger doses of a chosen non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that helps block certain pain-producing chemicals in your body.
Muscle relaxants have a sedating effect and are prescribed to ease muscle tension.
Opioids may be prescribed to manage severe pain.
Lidocaine in an adhesive patch form may be prescribed for placement on the skin over the painful area.
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Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Back
If you have arthritis in your back, its important to understand the type of arthritis that might be causing it. Different types of arthritis have specific medications and treatments. Here are some of the more common types of arthritis that affect the back.
It is common for people with back pain to have more than one cause, which could include arthritis as well as other causes .
What Causes Arthritis In Lower Back
The best treatments for arthritis in the lower back are the ones that address the root causes. In the simplest terms, osteoarthritis is caused by too much wear and tear on the structures of our lower back . Too much impact on our spine over too long a period of time leads to the bony growth that is often seen on X-Rays .
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Osteoarthritis Treatment May Require A Multi
Due to the varied treatment plans for osteoarthritis, there will likely be several health professionals involved in a patient’s care. This integrated approach has been shown to result in better pain reduction and function improvement for patients with osteoarthritis. However, with many different specialties involved, there can be differing points of view, and this may create confusion. The patient plays a critical role in communicating openly and honestly among this team.
For example, members of your osteoarthritis treatment team may include a combination of the following back health professionals:
- Primary care physicians. Doctors who treat patients before they are referred to other specialists in the health care system .
- Rheumatologists. Medical doctors who specialize in treating arthritis and related conditions that affect joints, muscles, and bones.
- Physiatrists . Doctors who help patients make the most of their physical potential, usually with a special focus on rehabilitation.
We Care About You And Your Pain
At Desert Care Network, we know how hard it can be for people with arthritis to carry out day-to-day tasks such as walking up the stairs or doing moderate to high-intensity exercises. If youre suffering from this condition, the good thing is, our orthopedic physicians in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area are experienced in arthritis pain management, treatment and prevention. We are eager to help you get back the life you deserve.
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