Coping With Low Mood And Sleep Problems
Living with pain can affect your mood and sleep, and its normal to feel low from time to time. If this is something that affects you, try going along to a pain clinic, where you can learn how to manage your pain. Theyll usually take place at outpatient clinics, and you can be referred to them by whoever is treating you.
Pain can be affected by different things, including feeling low or stressed. There are a number of talking therapies and techniques you can learn, which can help you manage your pain, support your emotional wellbeing, and deal with any low feelings you might have. Mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy can help with osteoarthritis.
Learning to relax your muscles can also help, particularly if you have neck pain and are feeling stressed, as this can cause your muscles to become more tense.
A pillow thats too firm or thick can make neck pain worse. Try to sleep with your head level to the rest of your body. Its important to have a mattress that gives your head and spine proper support.
Try having a hot bath, reading a book, or listening to the radio or a relaxation CD to wind down before bed. If pain is waking you during the night, try taking paracetamol or another painkiller before bed. Talk to your doctor or a sleep expert for more advice.
Surgery For Neck Arthritis
Surgery is usually a last resort for neck arthritis, says Dr. Milani. Your doctor may recommend it if you have severe pain that isnt relieved with nonsurgical treatment or if you have signs of neurologic injury. Surgery may be needed if the arthritis causes instability, or more importantly, impingement of nerves and/or the spinal cord, says Dr. Shah.
What Causes Spinal Arthritis Pain
Arthritis of the spine develops in the small joints located between each vertebra called facet joints. As we age, the cartilage lining the joint surface can shrink and wear thin causing bone spurs and enlargement of the joint, which often leads to the inflammation and pain of arthritis.
Arthritis can occur anywhere in the spine from the neck to the lower back. Arthritis pain is often worse in the morning, when the weather changes, after over-exertion or even after long periods of sitting. Bone rubbing on bone, abnormal curvature of the spine, loss of flexibility and difficulty bending or walking may also occur. However, because these symptoms are not unique to arthritis, its important to identify the correct source of pain to successfully treat your problem.
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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
What Can I Do
Learn about back pain and play an active role in your treatment. Not all information you read or hear about is trustworthy so always talk to your healthcare team about treatments you are thinking about trying. Reliable sources of further information are also listed in the section below. Self-management courses aim to help you develop skills to be actively involved in your healthcare. Contact your local Arthritis Office for details of these courses.
Stay active and healthy. Your back is designed for movement. Continuing with your normal activities or returning to them as soon as you can will help you recover from a bout of back pain. Some pain with activity is normal but does not mean it is causing harm. You may need to rest or reduce some activities when the pain is excessive. But resting for more than a day or two usually does not help and may do more harm than good. See a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for advice about exercises to keep your back moving. If you are carrying extra kilos, losing weight with the help of a dietitian may be of benefit, as may be strategies to reduce stress and anxiety.
Learn ways to manage pain. There are many things you can try, including
Acknowledge your feelings and seek support. It is natural to feel worried, frustrated, sad and sometimes angry when you have pain. Be aware of these feelings and get help if they start affecting your daily life.
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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.
How Is Arthritis In The Spine Diagnosed
The physicians at OrthoNeuro provide thorough exams and tests to diagnose the different types of arthritis in the spine, including osteoarthritis.
After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will perform a physical exam to evaluate your overall health, musculoskeletal status, nerve function, and reflexes. Your physician will also look for problematic vertebrae.
They will test your range of motion to determine how your pain and stiffness affect your daily activities that require bending, twisting, and reaching. Your doctor may also ask you to walk around the office or perform some simple exercises.
You may need X-rays to help your doctor identify the damage or bone spurs. MRIs and CT scans also provide information about your bone health.
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Overview Of Medications Used To Treat Spinal Arthritis A Common Cause Of Back Pain Also Called Osteoarthritis Or Spondylosis
The type of arthritis that more commonly affects the spine is osteoarthritis, also called spondylosis. Other types of arthritis that are inflammatory in nature include rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Here, youll learn about medications for osteoarthritis that affects your neck , mid back , and/or low back .It is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
Questions To Ask The Doctor About Medications:
- What will the medication do?
- How long will it take before I notice results?
- What is the name of the medication? Is there a generic brand?
- Are there side effects I should know about?
- How should I take the medication ?
- How often should I take the medication?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose at the specified time?
- Let your doctor know if you are taking other medications. Sometimes certain medications cannot be taken together.
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Use Hot And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation.
- Heat treatments can include taking a long, warm shower or bath in the morning to help ease stiffness and using an electric blanket or moist heating pad to reduce discomfort overnight.
- Cold treatments can help relieve joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Wrap a gel ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and apply it to painful joints for quick relief. Never apply ice directly to the skin.
- Capsaicin, which comes from chili peppers, is a component of some topical ointments and creams that you can buy over the counter. These products provide warmth that can soothe joint pain.
The Different Types Of Arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by a reduction in joint cartilage through the wear and tears one experiences with age. This process of wearing down cartilage causes bones to rub together, which leads to pain and swelling. Physiotherapy can often help to reduce osteoarthritis pain without medication, especially if it is diagnosed as mild-to-moderate.
- Inflammatory Arthritis: Also referred to as Rheumatoid Arthritis, this occurs when the bodys immune system attacks joint tissues with intense inflammation. Inflammatory arthritis often has a genetic cause, and doctors usually treat it aggressively with drugs. However, depending on the severity of symptoms, physiotherapy may be recommended for treatment as well.
- Metabolic Arthritis: The most common type of metabolic arthritis is gout, a condition caused by uric acid crystals building up in the joints of the extremities, especially in the feet. This is typically a result of reduced kidney function. Physiotherapy can help gout patients restore range of motion in the affected area, and it can even reduce the buildup of acidic crystals that accumulate in the joints.
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Pain And Other Symptoms Of Spinal Osteoarthritis
The intensity and type of pain people experience as a result of arthritis in the spine varies from mild to severe, and occasional to episodic to chronic. Each type of pain is treated differently. Of course, it is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Learn more about the range of osteoarthritis symptoms.
Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Longer
When you have a restful nights sleep, your back will feel less sore during the day.7 A night of restorative sleep can have healing benefits and make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and less stressed.
Try these natural sleep aids, one at a time, to see which one works best for you:
- Vitamins C and B6. The natural steroids in your body control your metabolism and promote good sleep.8,9 Supplements of vitamins C10 and B611 are known to help the body produce and regulate natural steroid hormones.
- Melatonin. Your natural sleep hormone, melatonin can be taken as a supplement to improve your sleep cycle.
- L-theanine. An amino acid found in tea leaves, L-theanine may help some people feel relaxed and get better sleep.
- Valerian. Supplements made from the root of the valerian plant may help you sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Another option is cherry juice or cherry extractscherries contain certain enzymes that help promote better sleep.4
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Pemf Therapy May Be The Answer To Your Lower Back Pain Arthritis
Nothing can be more painful than osteoarthritis in ones back, and in addition to it causing discomfort in your back, it prevents you from doing the activities you love. With the proper treatment, though, you can be back on your feet enjoying life again.
PEMF may not be appropriate for everyone, so do consult with your doctor in order to find out whether spinal arthritis treatment with PEMF is right for you or not. If your doctor feels that it is your best option, ALMAGIA International® has a variety of devices available for reasonable prices.
Back Arthritis Physical Therapy Will Pt Help
In short: YES!
Physical therapy is very effective arthritis back pain treatment.
A licensed physical therapist, like the ones at In Motion OC, can teach you how to perform movements that can relieve your symptoms and get you back on your feet.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek professional help from a physical therapist.
Strengthening the muscles around the vertebrae allows the muscles to do the worknot the joints. Stronger muscles will help you move with less pain and discomfort.
Physical therapy is crucial to reducing the symptoms of back arthritis.
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How To Treat Arthritis Of The Spine
Arthritis is one of the most common medical conditions that affects individuals over the age of 50, and while youve probably heard about the condition affecting the knee or hip, those arent the only joints prone to the arthritis. Your facet joints in your spine can also develop arthritis, and considering how often you use your spine, it can be quite the irritating condition. In todays blog, we take a closer look at why spinal arthritis develops and how the condition can be treated by a spine specialist.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis of the spine may cause stiffness or pain in the neck or back. It may also cause weakness or numbness in the legs or arms if it is severe enough to affect spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself. Usually, the back discomfort is relieved when the person is lying down.
Some people experience little interference with the activities of their lives. Others become more severely disabled.
In addition to the physical effects, a person with osteoarthritis might also experience social and emotional problems. For instance, a person with osteoarthritis that hinders daily activities and job performance might feel depressed or helpless.
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Natural Remedies For Arthritis Pain
Living with arthritis can be a rollercoaster both physically and emotionally. Many people with arthritis experience bouts of significant pain and inflammation, followed by periods of disease inactivity. Not knowing when arthritis pain will flare up can reduce your quality of life and take its toll on your mental health.
Being able tomanage arthritis pain effectively is key to preventing debilitating symptoms from affecting your daily life. If youre looking for a toolbox of arthritis management techniques, here are six proven ways to help ease pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
Diagnosis Of Back Pain
Regardless of what type of doctor you see, there are some things you can expect your doctor to do during your visit. Your doctor first will ask you a number of questions, the most common of which are listed as follows:
- What are your symptoms–that is, what aches or pains do you have?
- Exactly where is the pain?
- Where is the pain the most severe?
- When did the pain begin?
- How long have you had it?
- Did something specific cause your back pain, such as an accident or injury?
- What home treatments have you used?
- Were you under any additional stress when the pain began?
- Do you have any other health problems?
- What kind of work do you do?
- In what types of recreational activities do you participate?
Think about these ahead of time so you can answer them easily. You also may have questions you’d like to ask the doctor. As you think of questions at home, jot them down and take them to the appointment.
Next, your doctor will give you a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor may perform any of the following: observe your muscles and joints ask you to sit and lie down ask you to move your back in different positions observe and feel the area of most pain and/or check to see if other areas of your body are tender or painful If the doctor can identify the likely cause of your back pain at this point, no further tests will be needed.
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Types Of Spinal Arthritis
Arthritis simply refers to joint pain and inflammation, which means that the term covers an extraordinarily wide range of ground, including at least 100 different medical conditions. Arthritis afflicts an estimated 50 million adults, but children can and do get arthritis as well.
The most common type of spinal arthritis, osteoarthritis, can develop in the facet joints that connect and articulate your vertebrae, a condition known as facet joint syndrome. As in other forms of osteoarthritis, facet joint syndrome can occur naturally as the protective cartilage within the joints wears down.
Changes in your vertebral discs can cause or accelerate facet joint syndrome. For instance, age-related water loss inside the discs may allow the discs to flatten instead of maintaining a constant space between vertebrae. This change places the facet joints under unnatural stress, leading to irritating and deterioration.
Other kinds of arthritis can also produce spinal pain and stiffness. In rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, autoimmune reactions can inflame and damage the joints. A form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis attacks the joints of the lower spinal column, sometimes causing bones to fuse together.
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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What Kind Of Physical Therapist Do I Need
All physical therapists are prepared through education and clinical experience to treat OA of the spine. However, you may want to consider:
- A physical therapist who has treated people with OA of the spine. Some physical therapists have a practice with an orthopedic or geriatric focus.
- A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist or who completed a residency or fellowship in orthopedic or geriatric physical therapy. This physical therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.
You can find physical therapists who have these and other credentials by using Find a PT, the online tool built by the American Physical Therapy Association to help you search for physical therapists with specific clinical expertise in your geographic area.
General tips when you’re looking for a physical therapist :
- Get recommendations from family and friends or from other health care providers.
- When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists’ experience in helping people with OA of the spine.
- Be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and report activities that make your symptoms worse.