What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory condition. This causes your immune system to incorrectly attack healthy cells in the body which may then lead to inflammation, pain and/or swelling in the affected body parts. RA usually affects the knee, hand and wrist joints. It may also affect other body tissues and cause complications in crucial organs such as the heart, eyes and lungs.
When Should I See A Doctor If I Have Lower Back Pain
In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesnt, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:
- If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
- If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
- If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.
Osteoarthritis Treatment May Require A Multi
Due to the varied treatment plans for osteoarthritis, there will likely be several health professionals involved in a patientâs 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.
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Physical Therapy Guide To Osteoarthritis Of The Spine
Osteoarthritis of the spine is a condition that usually occurs with aging and is typically diagnosed after age 50. Its causes include injury to the spine, wear and tear on the discs of the spine , or an inherited tendency to develop OA. Sometimes the cause is unknown. OA of the spine may cause pain and stiffness, and make it difficult to bend over, perform weight-bearing activities, such as walking, and accomplish daily tasks such as dressing and bathing. Your physical therapist will help you manage your condition, lessen your discomfort, and get moving again.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
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 youre 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.
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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.
Half Crunch On The Ball
Do 2 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
Repeat 10 times.
The number of repetitions and sets recommended here are just thatrecommendations. You may do more or less depending on your ability. Remember that keeping good form is more important than doing multiple sets or repetitions. If you have questions about form, a doctor or physical therapist can help guide you.
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Exceptional Multidisciplinary Care For Spinal Arthritis
The UH team of spine specialists have the expertise and experience to provide patients with the highest level of care for spinal arthritis. In fact, our spine program is one of only 20 programs in the country to be designated a Center of Excellence by the National Spine Institute.
We draw upon the expertise of a wide variety of clinical specialists to devise personalized treatment plans for each patient who comes to us for care. Your team may include:
- Orthopedic surgeons
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.
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Should I See A Health Professional
Most people with low back pain do not need to see a doctor or other health professional as the pain will get better within a week or two. In most cases tests such as x-rays, scans and blood tests are not helpful in finding out the cause of back pain. They are best avoided as they may lead to further unnecessary or harmful medical interventions.
Talk to your doctor if your pain does not settle down after a few weeks, or starts getting worse, or you become very worried by it. A physiotherapist can also be helpful in providing reassurance and helpful information.
You should see your doctor immediately if:
- you have new symptoms such as losing weight, sweats and chills, problems controlling your bladder or bowel, tingling or numbness in your legs or saddle region
- you have osteoporosis or a history of cancer
- you are prone to infection, or you are an intravenous drug user.
Signs To Halt Exercising
The last section described things that you can do to minimize pain while exercising. However, there are also signs that you should stop what youre doing and see your doctor. These signs include:
- Stabbing, sharp and constant pain
- Pain after exercise that lasts for more than a couple of hours or gets worse at night
- Pain that makes you limp
- Pain not relieved by hot/cold packs, rest or medication
- A significant increase in hot, red or swollen joints
Arthritis and exercise is not an impossible combination. Individuals with arthritis who stay active on a regular basis experience more energy, less pain, better day-to-day function and improved sleep. When your body is used to regular exercising, it can help keep you going when arthritis threatens to immobilize you. Still not convinced? Try it yourself. However, if you have persistent arthritis, give us a call at 853-6542 to request a consultation with one of our doctors.
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How Arthritis Affects Your Hips
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint the ball is the top of your thigh bone, and it sits in a socket thats formed by part of your pelvic bone. Slippery tissue called cartilage covers the bone surface and helps cushion the joint. Cartilage creates a low-friction environment so you can move easily and without pain, explains Wayne Johnson, MD, orthopedic surgeon and assistant clinical professor at the University of Oklahoma.
In osteoarthritis , the cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears down, which over time leads to pain, stiffness, swelling, and lack of mobility, says Dr. Johnson, who is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Everyday tasks like bending over to tie a shoe, getting up from a chair, or going for a walk become more challenging and painful. The lifetime risk of developing osteoarthritis of the hip is 25 percent.
With rheumatoid and other forms of inflammatory arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks a protective lining in your joint called the synovium, and destroys cartilage. Though RA tends to affect smaller joints first , symptoms can spread to both your hips as the disease progresses.
Arthritis In Lower Back
Arthritis in lower back can utterly ruin your life but there is hope.
Sometimes I am utterly humbled by the power of Chiropractic. When you as a practitioner are faced with a case history like this one, you absolutely know that Chiropractic Help has to do something special its an awesome responsibility.
Mrs P, aged 69 first consulted me two months ago with a fifty-year history of low back pain. Her mother too had a horrid back. For the last year it had been unbearable and the pain in the right buttock and both legs despite various medical treatments was disabling, and walking had become very difficult. Contrary to most backs, sitting caused no pain, and bending forwards relieved the pain. Extension, backward bending, was very painful.
It all added up a serious diagnosis: Lumbar spine stenosis. Call it back arthritis if you will, affecting the spinal nerves, and often the spinal cord itself.
There was nothing good about her case. As a smoker, I was concerned whether she would respond at all. Despite no mention on the radiologist report there are strong indications of heavy calcification of the aorta, the large artery suppling the kidneys, bowels, other organs, lower spine and legs. I need a second opinion, as Im of the opinion there is an aneurism brewing. Only smokers and heavy drinkers get them. Many, perhaps most, Chiropractors, concerned about being sued wouldnt take on a case like this. The risks are high, the probability of a good outcome poor.
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Can Lower Back Pain Be Related To Weather
If you feel like your lower back pain worsens on days when its cold or the weather is changing, you are not imagining things. Back pain can indeed be related to barometric pressure and outdoor temperature. Changes in pressure can sometimes cause pain in arthritic joints, including the spine. Muscles and joints in general react to the environment, which can make them stiffer and more likely to suffer an injury.
What Are The Symptoms Of Weak Hind Legs
Symptoms of hind leg weakness could appear immediately or develop over time, depending on the root cause. So keep an eye on your pets physical condition and behavior as it could point to other signs of dog back leg weakness.
If your pets hind legs get weak, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Less muscle mass
Your dog could even go off-balance, walk slowly, hesitate to move, or stop peeing if they have weak back legs.
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Symptoms Of Arthritis In Dogs
Although your pet may seem fine in themselves, eating normally and interesting in going out for walks there are several symptoms of arthritis in dogs to be aware of. Its important to take note of any changes, even if they dont seem to be linked to having sore legs.
- Limping before and after walks. Your dog may limp if only one leg is affected, but if more than one joint is affected, your dog may not have an obvious limp.
- Tiredness and showing an unwillingness to get up or walk around. Your dog may seem a bit stiff in the morning, or they cant get comfortable when lying down.
- Licking or chewing painful areas
- Signs of pain when standing, walking, or sitting up or down
- Behavioural changes. Your dogs behaviour may change and seem a bit grumpy if being cuddled or touched too much.
- Slowing down. Your dog may seem to have got old suddenly and tired quickly.
If you notice your dog is suffering from any of the above symptoms, visit your nearest vet right away who will be able to provide an expert and informed diagnosis:
What Does Exercise Modification Look Like
The best recommendation for dogs with arthritis is exercise modification. This means dogs SHOULD exercise, in fact, they should ideally do something every single day rather than be weekend warriors.
The ideal exercise program for dogs with arthritis is one that is regular, low-impact, and controlled.
Regular exercise means your dog is going for walks mostdays, rather than doing one big activity at the end of the week.
A study by Greene LM, et al in 20213 found that dogs with hip arthritis that exercised for > 60 minutes/ day had lower lameness scores than dogs that exercised < 20 minutes/day. Interestingly, in this same study, the administration of NSAIDs or chondroprotective agents was not associated with improved lameness scores. This supports the recommendation of an active lifestyle for dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis. Similar studies have not yet been published for other forms of canine arthritis.
The type of exercise the dog is participating is important. This is where low-impact and controlled come in. To best describe this recommendation, we turn to physics .
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system turns on itself. It attacks synovium the lining of the joints. Although rheumatoid arthritis is more common in other joints, it can also affect the spine, specifically the cervical region . Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine is not caused by wear and tear, so its considered an inflammatory arthritis. It may cause back pain even when these joints are not in use. It tends to affect women more than men.
Back Pain And Stiffness
While back pain is a common symptom, not everyone with back arthritis experiences it.
Stiffness, which occurs as the joint hardens, is a frequent complaint among those with back arthritis. It can hinder you from doing simple activities, such as gardening or getting dressed.
Both of these symptoms can be helped significantly with exercise and physical therapy.
Increasing your flexibility and range of motion can help lessen the pain. Your physical therapist can achieve this with targeted movements that strengthen the muscles and take pressure off your joints.
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Tips To Ease Pain With Exercise
When choosing exercises for your back pain, start with the basics and then progress from there. If you are having trouble tolerating exercise, try these tips to reduce pain and manage symptoms.
Other Ways to Manage Spinal Arthritis Pain
- Use home modalities like ice, heat, or a TENs unit before and after exercise
- Take prescription medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Use your symptoms as a guide and modify instead of pushing through any pain
- Start with a gentle warm up, like walking, before starting your program
- Stretch prior to strengthening to warm up any stiff muscles
- Consult a physical therapist for personal recommendations to optimize your exercise routine
- Do less exercise more frequently to start, with the goal of exercising for 20+ minutes 3-4 times per week when youre ready
How Arthritis In The Back Is Treated
Treatment for back arthritis depends on many factors, including your age, level of pain, type and severity of arthritis, other medical conditions and medications, and personal health goals. Because joint damage caused by arthritis is irreversible, treatment usually focuses on managing pain and preventing further damage.
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Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
OA occurs as you age, but is not a direct result of getting older. There are many factors that may put you at risk of developing OA, including your family history. Other factors include exposure to risks at work such as assuming prolonged or awkward positions and smoking. Regular conditioning and strengthening exercises will improve the ability of your muscles to work and may help prevent OA of the spine.