What Causes Oa Of The Spine
OA is caused by slow deterioration of cartilage around joints in the lower back. The exact cause of this deterioration is unknown, but some people have a higher risk for the disease. This includes individuals who have experienced a spine trauma.
Experiencing an injury at a younger age can make your cartilage break down much faster. Obesity can also play a role in OA of the spine because extra body weight puts added stress on the joints in your spine. Other risk factors include:
- advancing age
Arthritis In Back Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment
Back pain is a global epidemic listed as one of the top ten diseases and injuries that contribute to disability-adjusted life year as published in a study by WHO. The prevalence of common back pain is from 60-70 percent. Arthritis in back symptoms is one of the most debilitating kinds of pain that originates in the neck and the lower back areas. People who suffer from arthritis in back often find themselves defeated with the sensation that all they end up doing is lie down hoping to stop the suffering by being stationary. But even if this measure provides relief, it can never help with the symptoms in the long term.
Use Heat And Cold Therapy
A hot or cold compress which works better for pain relief? The answer is they both have their place.
Applying heat to the area of the back that hurts provides soothing pain relief for a lot of people. You can choose dry heat applied directly to the sore spots.
Or you can try moist heat, like a warm, moist towel or even a warm bath. The Healthy Back Institute offers a state-of-the-art heating pad thats been shown to melt away pain and restore mobility in just 10 minutes.
On the other hand, using ice packs or a cold compress can help numb arthritis pain.You can alternate between the two, but feel free to use whatever method provides you with the most pain relief.
You May Like: Is Arthritis Acute Or Chronic
How To Prevent Arthritis
When it comes to arthritis, there are some widespread misconceptions about it. Many people might think arthritis is something that happens to random individuals without any rhyme or reason. Theres no preventing it, and youll either develop it or you wont. Others might think its entirely genetic, and so the chances of developing it are deciding by our family history.
Maybe youre a long-time arthritis patient. Maybe youre just beginning to feel stiffness in your joints, and youre wondering if you might be experiencing the beginnings of arthritis. Or maybe youre just curious, and youre wondering if there are any steps you can take to prevent yourself from developing this condition in the first place.
Whatever the case may be, its always best to be well-informed. Thats why weve put together a guide to arthritis. Here, well talk about what it is, what causes it and what steps you can take to prevent yourself from developing it, or else what steps you can take to help lessen your symptoms.
Weight Loss Exercise And Diet
Think about the extra pounds people carry every day due to their being overweight. This puts added pressure and strain on the back and stomach muscles, causing those muscles to stretch and weaken. Weak back and stomach muscles cannot support the back properly. Poor posture can shift your body out of balance. This forces only a few muscles and joints to do all the work. Without proper exercise, muscles become weak and tire easily. Exercise is necessary to keep the back strong and limber. A good conditioning exercise program led by a trained instructor can be particularly helpful. An effective program includes a warm-up period about 30 minutes of aerobic activity isolated muscle group work and a cool-down period. Over a period of time, the rewards of regular aerobic workouts can include a slimmer waistline and healthier back.
Also Check: Severe Arthritis Symptoms
What Causes Spinal Arthritis
Osteoarthritis in the back is often caused by . This condition occurs when the supportive intervertebral discs between each bony vertebra in the spine begin to wear down and lose their cushioning ability. Spinal joints run along the back, or posterior side of the spinal column connecting one vertebra to another. They allow you to move and bend your entire upper body. Less space between vertebrae due to disc disease increases pressure on the spinal joints. When the bones rub together, it causes pain and stiffnesstypically in the lower back.
Scientists arent certain about the cause of inflammatory spinal arthritis, but they believe it may be inherited. More than two dozen genes have been linked to the development of .
What Are The Symptoms
AS usually strikes a person between the teen years and the age of 40. The classic picture of AS is a man between the ages of 15 and 40 with intermittent, dull lower back pain, and stiffness slowly progressing over a period of months to years. Although AS was once considered to predominantly affect men, it is now known to affect women as well. There may also be differences in symptoms and outcomes in men and women with AS.1
Don’t Miss: Rash From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are There Any Complications
Some people who have osteoarthritis in their neck might have problems swallowing or when they speak, but this is not very common. This can be caused by bony spurs affecting blood supply to the spinal cord.
If you have osteoarthritis of the spine, you may have other problems that may need treating. Let your doctor know urgently if you:
- have trouble going for a wee, or feel like you need a wee when you dont
- lose control of your bladder or bowel the organs that control wee and poo
- have feelings of numbness or tingling around your genitals or bottom
- lose power in your legs
- feel unwell like having a fever or sweating.
Spinal stenosis is a condition that happens when the spinal canal, which contains the spinal cord, gets narrower. The most common symptoms are pain and weakness or numbness in the area linked to the affected part of the spine such as the legs, arms, neck, back or shoulders.
Spinal stenosis is often caused by osteoarthritis, as the bony spurs that form on the edge of the vertebrae can irritate the nerves in your spine. It can usually be treated with exercise, over-the-counter drugs and steroid injections.
Sometimes surgery will be needed to remove the spurs and make space in the vertebral column.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest and pain relievers. Back pain that doesnt go away may be a sign of a more serious condition.
See your provider if you have:
- Pain that doesnt get better after about a week of at-home care.
- Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in your buttocks or legs.
- Severe pain or muscle spasms that interfere with your normal activities.
- Fever, weight loss, bowel or bladder problems or other unexplained symptoms.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Millions of people live with low back pain. Stiffness, pain and limited movement can have a major impact on quality of life. But you may be able to avoid lower back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active. Talk to your provider if back pain doesnt go away or if youre unable to do the activities you enjoy. Several treatments can relieve pain, help you move better and get more out of life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
Also Check: Ra In Hand Symptoms
Axial Spondyloarthritis Vs Peripheral Spondyloarthritis
Under the general umbrella term of spondyloarthritis, conditions are now classified further into two categories based on where symptoms occur in the body. These new classifications help healthcare providers make a more accurate diagnosis and provide more targeted treatment.
Based on the primary symptom a person experiences, people with SpA are divided into these two groups:
- Axial spondyloarthritis : This form of spondylitis most commonly affects the spine and pelvic joints. Back pain and stiffness of the spine are the predominant symptoms of axSpA. Axial spondyloarthritis is a broad category that includes people who may or may not have bone and joint damage detected by imaging tests.
- Peripheral spondyloarthritis : This form of spondylitis commonly causes joint inflammation and pain outside of the spine and sacroiliac joints, including the ankles, hands, elbows, feet, knees, shoulders, and wrists. pSpA may also cause inflammation in tendons in the hands and feet and where ligaments and tendons connect with bone .
What Is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac dysfunction is a common cause of back pain. In most instances, the discomfort that comes with it can be managed through conservative treatment however, some cases may require back surgery.
The sacroiliac joint is located in the lower back between the spine and hip joint, and normally does not move much. Inflammatory arthritis , degeneration of the sacroiliac joint, or misalignment of this joint can cause pain associated with sacroiliac dysfunction.
Don’t Miss: How Early Can You Get Arthritis
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.
How Is Ankylosing Spondylitis Managed Or Treated
Ankylosing spondylitis is a lifelong condition. While theres no cure, treatments can prevent long-term complications, reduce joint damage and ease pain. Treatments include:
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can slow or stop disease progression. Many people experience worse pain when theyre inactive. Movement seems to lessen pain. Your healthcare provider can recommend safe exercises.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs :NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen , ease pain and inflammation.
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs : Medications such as sulfasalazine reduce pain and joint swelling. The drugs also treat lesions caused by inflammatory bowel disease. Newer DMARDs called biologics help control inflammation by changing the immune system. Biologics include tumor necrosis factor and interleukin inhibitors .
- Corticosteroids: Injectable corticosteroids temporarily ease joint pain and inflammation.
- Surgery: A small number of people with ankylosing spondylitis may need surgery. Joint replacement surgery implants an artificial joint. Kyphoplasty corrects a curved spine.
You May Like: Whats Rheumatoid Arthritis
Kidney Disease And Kidney Failure
Kidney disease and resulting renal failure can cause pain in the lower back below the rib cage and at the sides of the body. Renal conditions that affect kidney function also cause edema in the legs and feet due to increased sodium and fluid retention because the kidneys cannot properly filter out sodium from the blood.
How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Back Pain
In terms of spine involvement, RA primarily affects the cervical spine, which is located at the top of the spinal cord and forms your neck. While it is possible for the middle or lower back to be affected, this is considered rare.
If a patient with established RA comes to me with pain in the mid or lower back, Im less likely to think their symptoms are directly related to RA, Dr. Bolster says.
Heres the reason that the cervical spine is more commonly affected: In RA, the immune system attacks the synovium, the thin membrane that lines your joints its the main site of the inflammatory process in rheumatoid arthritis.
The spines top two vertebrae, C1 and C2, are synovial-lined joints, and are therefore subject to developing the inflammation and joint erosion you experience in your peripheral joints.
Its unclear how many people with RA have cervical spine involvement. It typically develops in the later stages of RA, but Dr. Bolster says it has been reported earlier.
My back pain started pretty quickly, within the first year of my RA diagnosis, says CreakyJoints community member Lisa Powell, who experiences both cervical and lumbar back pain. My doctor hasnt totally ruled out that osteoarthritis might be the cause of the damage to my lower back, but the pain there seems very tied to my RA symptoms. It gets worse when my RA is flaring or isnt well controlled.
Recommended Reading: Rheumatoid Arthritis Upper Back Pain
How Can I Prevent Low Back Strain
Here are some tips to help you avoid low back strain:
- If you feel any low back pain during physical activity, stop.
- If you feel low back pain within a day of stepping up your workout, take it easy for a few days.
- Get your back in shape. Exercise and stretch your back muscles regularly.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleep on your back or your side, and wedge a pillow under or beneath your legs.
- When picking up something heavy, bend at the knees, not at the waist.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Adopt good posture. Sit straight in chairs, with your back against the chair’s back.
Current Conservative Treatment Options
Furthermore, there are few secondary prevention intervention techniques specifically aimed at treating symptomatic spine degeneration. Injection therapy has been a popular treatment technique targeting spine features for LBP, and Karppinen et al. have recently summarized evidence on this therapy. Facet joint injection therapy to treat LBP has increased dramatic in recent years. Among Medicare beneficiaries, intervention for facet joint pain has increased substantially with annual growth of 60 % from 1997 to 2006 . However, there is little evidence to support the use of this therapy, with recent practice guidelines recommending against the use of facet joint steroid injections .
Also Check: What Can Be Done For Arthritis
What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home
If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.
Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.
What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that causes chronic spine inflammation. Ankylosing spondylitis inflames the sacroiliac joints located between the base of the spine and pelvis. This inflammation, called sacroiliitis, is one of the first signs of AS. Inflammation often spreads to joints between the vertebrae, the bones that make up the spinal column. This condition is known as spondylitis.
Some people with AS experience severe, persistent back and hip pain and stiffness. Others have milder symptoms that come and go. Over time, new bone formations may fuse vertebrae sections together, making the spine rigid. This condition is called ankylosis.
You May Like: Stopping Arthritis In Fingers
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.
Surgery For Spinal Arthritis
Surgery may be recommended for spinal arthritis if other treatments dont sufficiently relieve pain. The goals of the surgery may include:
Stabilizing the spine by fusing several segments together in a procedure called spinal fusion
These surgeries can be performed as open procedures or with a minimally invasive approach. There are pros and cons to each method. The surgeon will review and discuss the options before the operation.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have Arthritis Without Swelling
What Does Low Back Strain Feel Like
Symptoms of low back strain include:
- Pain and stiffness in the back.
- Pain in the buttocks and the legs, often in the back of the thigh.
- Pain that worsens when bending, stretching, coughing, or sneezing.
Since some symptoms of low back strain are similar to those of more serious conditions, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Any numbness and weakness in your legs, or bowel and bladder problems, can be a sign of nerve damage — and that needs immediate medical attention.
To diagnose low back strain, your doctor will give you a thorough exam. You may also need X-rays, MRIs , and CT scans. These extra tests may only be needed if your pain doesn’t go away on its own or with conservative treatment.
What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms may gradually worsen as you age. The condition is rarely disabling or life-threatening. Still, symptoms like joint pain may interfere with your ability to do the things you love. Early interventions can ease inflammation and pain. A combination of physical activity and medications can help.
You May Like: What Can I Do For Arthritis In My Hands