Sunday, April 21, 2024

What Helps With Arthritis In The Back

Berries Apples And Pomegranates

Top 3 Exercises For Arthritis in your Back: Back Pain

Berries are rich in antioxidants and the Arthritis Foundation notes that blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and boysenberries all provide arthritis-fighting power. Youll get health benefits no matter if you eat them frozen, fresh or dehydrated , so be sure to eat a variety of berries throughout the week.

Apples are also high in antioxidants and a good source of fiber. Plus, they provide crunch and can help curb your appetite for unhealthy snacks, Dunn says.

Pomegranates, which are classified as berry fruits, are rich in tannins which can fight the inflammation of arthritis. Add these to a salad or stir into plain yogurt for some added benefits.

What Is Arthritis In The Spine

Arthritis back pain is caused by the breakdown of the cartilage between the vertebrae in the spine. The bones that make up the spinal column have spaces in between them and in between these spaces are cartilages that prevent the bones from grinding into each other. In cases where arthritis hits this area this can cause pain, although there are also cases when its asymptomatic. Osteoarthritis in the spine can also produce spurs that puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal column. This causes pain and also weakness in the arms and legs.

Arthritis in the spine can also lead to spine stenosis, a condition that refers to the narrowing of the spaces inside the spinal column. As the nerves inside the spine are forced into narrowing channels, this can subject them to too much pressure which results to pain. The pain often comes with tingling and numbness, muscle weakness, and even abnormal bowel or bladder functions. Although spinal stenosis can be caused by normal wear and tear in the spine, the ones caused by arthritis can come in faster with doctors having no choice but to perform surgery to address the problem.

How Your Back Works

The spine, which is also called the backbone or spinal column, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength.

Its made up of 24 bones, known as vertebrae, one sitting on top of the other. These bones have discs in between and lots of strong ligaments and muscles around them for support. There are also the bones in the tailbone at the bottom of the back, which are fused together and have no discs in between.

On either side of the spine, running from top to bottom, are many small joints called the facet joints.

The spinal cord passes inside the vertebrae, which protect it.

The spinal cord connects to the brain through the base of the skull and to the rest of the body by nerves that pass through spaces between the bones of the spine. These nerves are also known as nerve roots.

As you grow older, the structures of your spine, such as the joints, discs and ligaments, age as well. The structures remain strong but its usual for your back to get stiffer as you get older.

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How Will Osteoarthritis Of The Spine Affect Me

The first sign of osteoarthritis of the spine is usually pain and stiffness in your back or neck.

The condition can be difficult to diagnose, as it can be hard to tell which symptoms are linked to osteoarthritis. It can even be hard to spot back and neck problems on x-rays of the spine, as changes caused by osteoarthritis dont always cause pain.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the spine will vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:

  • pain in your back or neck
  • stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after resting
  • crunching or grinding noises when moving your back or neck.

People who have osteoarthritis in their neck might also have headaches or feel pain in their shoulders and arms.

Its normal for the cartilage in our joints to get thinner, especially as we get older. But in people with osteoarthritis, its the bodys normal process of repairing damage to joints that can cause pain and stiffness.

When the body starts to repair damage to cartilage, the whole joint can be affected including the bone, tendons and ligaments.

During the repair process, the edges of the bones in the spine can grow outwards, forming bony spurs. These are known as osteophytes . The discs between the vertebrae in the spine can also become thinner.

Arthritis In Lower Back Can Be Hereditary

Strength Exercises to Help Your Low Back Arthritis Symptoms

Mrs P is doing incredibly well, and now comes in every three weeks for maintenance care ⦠Yesterday she told me⦠Her great niece, aged 17 had Harrington rods put in her spine about four years ago for the scoliosis. It was apparently reasonably successful. But last week, the lass went in for a further spinal fusion at L5-S1 â and woke up with a foot-drop. Nuff saidâ¦

Update: Mrs P continues to do well. We have now exended the maintenance treatment to every six weeks. And, the arthritis of the back is no different. Another X-ray would probably look just the same. But sheâs a different woman. The arthritis of the back wasnât per se the cause of her pain.

Research shows that if you are significantly over weight, that losing a lot of weight is the most important treatment you can do for arthritic hips, knees and feet. So choose: a knee replacement or lose 50 pounds. Your call, itâs probably going to be one or the other.

Itâs true in religion, but itâs true in healthcare too. Like: âYou have arthritis, Mrs Jones. Iâm afraid thereâs nothing to be done.â

Itâs a conviction commonly held in medical circles and light years from the scientifically proven truth. Think fatty fish, think exercise, think weight loss, think strawberries, think magnesium deficiency ⦠think Chiropractic.

But yes, sometimes it is difficult. Always? Definitely not!

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Physical Therapist Chad Woodard Pt Phd Suggests This Gentle Neck Exercise Routine To Help Arthritis Patients Improve Function And Range Of Motion In The Neck

If you live with arthritis that affects your neck such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, or other forms then chances are you often wake up feeling stiff and sore.

An AM stretching routine is a key way to help soothe that morning stiffness. It is so important to have a regular mobility and stretching routine, says physical therapist Chad Woodard, PT, PhD, owner of Symbio Physiotherapy and Wellness in New York City. Without a regular routine, your joints start to stiffen up. They dont move as well. And that leads to a decreased function and inability to get through your activities of daily living.

But when it comes to neck exercises in particular, its important to be gentle and proceed with caution. So we asked Dr. Woodard for a simple home exercise routine of neck stretches you can do every day to fight stiffness and stress in your neck.

He models them in the above video.

These neck exercises are specifically meant to help those with rheumatoid arthritis and other kinds of inflammatory arthritis, says Dr. Woodard, who prescribes these moves to all his arthritis patients. They involve gentle, progressive mobility and stretching. You can do these first thing in the morning and they really get everything moving.

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.

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Promoting A Healthy Heart Stamina And Weight Can Help Relieve Symptoms Of Arthritis


Low-impact exercisessuch as walking, elliptical machines, or water aerobicsare easier on arthritis hip pain and arthritis knee pain


20-30 minutes daily

2½ hours weekly of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes weekly of vigorous exercise

Do as much as you can do. Even if you cant fit in much cardio, the strengthening and stretching exercises can help with things like arthritis back pain.

Stiffness And Loss Of Flexibility

Arthritis Information & Relief : Symptoms of Arthritis in the Back

Inflammation of the spinal joints in the lower back can cause them to become somewhat less flexible. Bending sideways or hyperextending the back in a backwards motion can be difficult and painful as it puts increased pressure on the lower back joints. Bending forward is usually less painful, although people may still experience noticeable loss in flexibility. After resting or sleeping or periods of inactivity, the back joints can become particularly stiff, and stiffness can worsen symptoms of pain and reduced mobility.

Arthritis is a degenerative condition that can lead to a spinal condition called Degenerative Disc Disease , or spondylosis, in which the gel-filled discs between each vertebra in the lumbar region start to dry up, losing their flexibility and ability to cushion the spine. Those with DDD may find the sitting position to be the most painful because it puts the most pressure on the lower back joints. Lying down and even walking or running can sometimes help to improve symptoms of pain and stiffness.

  • Inflammation of the spinal joints in the lower back can cause them to become somewhat less flexible.
  • After resting or sleeping or periods of inactivity, the back joints can become particularly stiff, and stiffness can worsen symptoms of pain and reduced mobility.

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How Is It Diagnosed

Your physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation and ask you questions in order to form a clear picture of your individual situation. These questions may include:

  • Your past and current health and use of medication.
  • How you are functioning in your daily life.
  • How your symptoms came about.
  • How long you have had symptoms.
  • Where the symptoms are located.
  • How and when pain occurs.

Your physical therapist will then conduct a physical examination and may:

  • Evaluate your posture and measure the range of motion of your spine.
  • Assess the movement of the spine and extremities in the involved area.
  • Check your nerve function with reflex, sensation, and strength testing.
  • Observe how you move during commonly performed activities.
  • Check your balance to determine your risk of falling.

The information learned in your evaluation will help your physical therapist prescribe a program to ease your discomfort, boost your quality of life, and get you moving your best.

If your physical therapist suspects that your pain might be caused by an underlying condition, they may request imaging testing such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI from your doctor. Your therapist may also refer you to your doctorfor further evaluation. Your physical therapist will work with your doctor to provide the best diagnosis and treatment.

How Chiropractic Can Help With Osteoarthritis

As we age, the wear and tear on the spongy cartilage of our spine can begin to become thinner. Since the cartilage is necessary to keep the bones of the spine from rubbing together, the loss of cartilage can be very troublesome for spinal health. Chiropractic treatment can help relieve the pressure of spinal vertebra that rub together due to loss of cartilage.

When the spinal vertebrae continually rub together, small irregular growths called bone spurs usually form on the joints of the spine. Bone spurs are natures way of trying to stabilize the spine due to loss of the cartridge. This instability can cause patients to experience pain in their back. The lower back is the most common area where the cartilage of the spinal vertebra is lost.

The overall loss of cartilage in the joints of the body is known as osteoarthritis. When located in the spine, osteoarthritis can be divided into two groups: The lumbar spine and the cervical spine.

Lumbar Spine

The lumbar spine is the lower back area. When osteoarthritis, also called lumbosacral arthritis, is located in this area, pain and stiffness in the lower spine is present. The joint that is located between the spine and pelvis, called the sacroiliac joint, can loosen the cartilage that protects it from the surrounding bones. This will cause intense pain in the lower back.

Cervical Spine

There are several risk factors associated with spinal arthritis such as:

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Physical Therapy Guide To Osteoarthritis Of The Spine

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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.

Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain

Moves That Fight Arthritis and Help Bring Back Flexibility in the ...

There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:

  • Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
  • Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
  • Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.

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Ways To Treat Back Pain

In general, back pain is treated “holistically and with supportive care,” Blazer says. That can include:

  • Moving regularly. “You have to keep moving,” Blazer says. That can include walking, stretching, strength training, yoga and tai chi. “Those are very good at preventing the kinds of the common types of back pain that we experience,” she says.

  • Taking OTC medications. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or like ibuprofen can help. Blazer just recommends checking in with your doctor if you’re regularly planning to treat your back pain with medication. “Anything that’s strong enough to have an effect is strong enough to have a side effect,” she says.

  • Consider acupuncture. This holistic treatment may help relieve pain, Blazer says.

Blazer says many of these treatments are covered by health insurance, including Medicare, “so if you’re interested in a holistic approach for your arthritis, don’t be afraid to talk about it because you may have some benefits through your insurance to help that.”

Does Back Brace Work For Spine Arthritis Why You Need A Back Brace For Lower Back Pain

Most people are non-plus about getting a lower back brace for their back pain. They tend to get skeptical if a back brace is really effective in alleviating back pain. If you are among such folks, I can tell you right now to snap out of the skepticism.

As I rightly said above, lower back pain can come due to so many reasons and how you will deal with it will depend on what caused the back pain.

Nevertheless, no matter the cause of the back pain, a back brace is sure a very good gadget to get in helping you alleviates the pain.

Back brace help to put your back components in order. If you are recovering from a back injury, it serves as protection that prevents further worsening of the injury.

For those who work in a posture that makes them susceptible to back pain, a back brace will make sure your spine is aligned properly no matter how you bend or your posture.

Therefore, back brace for lower back pain is required by almost everyone. You do not have to wait till you have lower back pain before you even get protected. While going about your daily activities at home, you can just put it on to protect any unfortunate occurrence that can lead to back pain.

Even most of us get to carry heavy stuff at home putting our back in jeopardy of lower back pain, getting the best back brace to support the back region can be a saving grace to protect us from these unfortunate issues.

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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.

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