Osteoarthritis Of The Back/spine
Spinal OA can make it hard to get around. Treatment can ease your back pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects the back. It can occur anywhere along the spine. Usually the low back and sometimes the neck are affected.
In OA, the cartilage that pads the ends of the bones wears down. In spinal OA, this occurs in the facet joints small joints located between and behind vertebrae.
When you move, the bones rub together painfully. Bony growths form in the joints. These spurs can press on nerves, causing more pain.
Causes of Back/Spine OA
The cause of OA is unknown. Some common factors that play a role in OA include:
- Age: The older you are the greater your chance of having OA.
- Weight: People who are overweight are more likely to have OA.
- Stress: Repeated joint stress from work or sports can increase your risk.
- Injury: A back injury can lead to OA.
- Genetics: Some people have a family history of OA.
Symptoms of Back/Spine OA
Symptoms usually start slowly and get worse as time goes by. Pain and stiffness may be worst when you first wake up or after sitting for a long time. Pain can also get bad after being very active.
- Stiffness and a loss of flexibility: Turning your neck or straightening your back may be tough.
- Pain: Your low back is the most common site of pain.
- Crepitus: You may have a feeling of grinding when moving.
- Tenderness and swelling: Your back along the affected joints may be sore to the touch.
Diagnosing Back/Spine OA
What Are The Best Ayurvedic Treatments For Back Pain
According to the latest studies, back pain is the most common pain disorder faced by people across the globe. Around 70% of people suffer from back pains or pain related to their spine ailments. People with back pain feel like someone is punching them in the area.
Back pain can get severe if not taken care of, which is why it is essential to figure out things that you can do on your own or take care of. Back pain usually happens when the flexibility of the spine is compromised. It can cause infections, injuries, and various other things. Let’s talk about the causes of back pain:
How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
If you experience arthritis symptoms, whether its OA or RA, please schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians in Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley area. Aside from reviewing your symptoms, your doctor may also conduct a physical exam and/or request an X-ray and some laboratory tests to understand the cause of your arthritis pain and to provide the best treatment options possible.
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Preventing Arthritis In The Back
It is very hard to cope up with your work if you are always bothered with some pain in your back due to arthritis. This can make your back hurt so much that all that you want to do is to have some nap and stop working. Arthritis in the back can make you lose your productivity. You should therefore learn to minimize or prevent the pain if you want to continue enjoying your life.
Here are some tips in order to prevent arthritis in the back:
Lifestyle Changes And Alternative Treatments
Certain lifestyle changes can help relieve the pressure on your spine and improve your overall outlook.
- eating foods that reduce inflammation
- quitting smoking
- reducing alcohol consumption
You may also benefit from working with a physical therapist. They can help you perform specific exercises that may restore lost range of motion in your lower back.
Pain from lumbar arthritis can also be treated by alternative or complementary medicine, especially in early stages. Acupuncture and chiropractic care felt in the lower back, but they arent long-term solutions.
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What Happens After Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Talk with your healthcare provider about what you can expect after surgery. You may have some pain around your incision after the procedure, but you can take pain medicines to relieve it. You should be able to resume your normal diet and activities fairly quickly. You may have some sort of imaging procedures, like X-ray, done to see how your surgery went. Depending on the extent of your injury and your other medical conditions, you might be able to go home within the next couple of days.
Your original symptoms may greatly decrease immediately after your surgery, or they might go away more slowly.
Follow all your healthcare providers instructions carefully. He or she might not want you to take certain over-the-counter medicines for pain. Some of these can interfere with bone healing. Your healthcare provider may advise you to eat a diet high in calcium and vitamin D as your bone heals.
You might have a little drainage from your incision. This is normal. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you notice an increase in redness, swelling, or draining from your incision. You should also let him or her know if you have high fever or severe pain that is not improving. Make sure to keep all of your follow-up appointments. You may need to have your stitches removed a week or so after your surgery.
Reactive Or Enteropathic Arthritis
Both reactive and enteropathic arthritis are tied to lumbar arthritis symptoms.
Reactive arthritis is triggered by an infection in your body. It typically results after a bacterial infection, such as chlamydia or salmonella.
Enteropathic arthritis is typically tied to inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease.
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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
This type of non-invasive therapy uses small amounts of electricity to reduce the sensitivity of nerves around the spine. Patients typically feel only a gentle vibration or tingling during TENS treatment. Not all patients using TENS experience pain relief.3–5 TENS therapy may be done in a medical office or the TENS unit may be prescribed to the patient and taken home with instructions regarding its proper use.
Read more about Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Spine-health.com
Best Ayurvedic Treatment And Medicine For Arthritis
Arthritis is a very common ailment, especially as we age. It is also agonising and unbearable, making even the simplest tasks difficult. Although there is no permanent cure for arthritis, many remedies can help alleviate the pain and symptoms.
Many people widely use allopathic medications for ailments, including arthritis. However, some prefer ayurvedic treatment methods for arthritis. In Ayurveda, arthritis is correlated to a condition called, Amavata. Ayurvedic medicine has been used to treat arthritis for centuries, and such treatments focus on relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and improving joint function.
Various studies have also provided evidence regarding the effectiveness of ayurvedic treatments for arthritis. Read on to learn and explore the best ayurvedic treatments and medicines for arthritis.
Physical Therapy And Exercise
Regular physical activity may be the most important piece of your overall treatment plan. Being active can help you stay mobile, relieve pain, lose weight and reduce your risk of other health problems. Activities such as walking, biking, swimming, yoga and water aerobics are all helpful for your OA symptoms and overall health. If joint pain or stiffness makes activity difficulty, work with a physical therapist to develop an exercise plan and find modifications that work for you.
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.
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How Is Septic Arthritis Treated
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
A fluid called pus may be drained from the joint. A buildup of pus can damage the joint. The pus is drained with a needle, tube, or surgery. It is possible that pus may need to be drained multiple times from the joint over the course of treatment. Other treatment may include:
- Medicines for pain and fever
- Physical therapy to keep muscle strength
- A splint on the joint to relieve pain
What Happens At The End Of A Course Of Hydrotherapy
One of the main aims of hydrotherapy treatment is to give you confidence to continue and manage a programme of exercises on your own once the course has finished. Your physiotherapist will probably suggest that you carry on with your exercises in your local swimming pool.
Some swimming pools have special sessions when the water temperature may be increased and some sports centres offer water-based exercise classes. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist for advice before you join a class to make sure its suitable. You should also speak to the instructor about your arthritis and its effects so they can adapt some of the exercises for you if necessary.
It may also be possible to pay for further sessions without the physiotherapist in the hospital pool. And in some areas, local arthritis support groups hire a hospital or health club pool for hydrotherapy sessions.
If you cant swim, it might be worth learning swimming is an excellent form of exercise for improving your fitness and mobility without putting a lot of strain on your joints. Ask a healthcare professional for advice if youre not sure whether it would be suitable for you.
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Living With Arthritis In The Back
Back arthritis is manageable with the appropriate treatment methods, which may include lifestyle adjustments and the use of assistive devices such as a walking stick.
Some people only require OTC pain relief, while others may need prescription medications. If medication stops working, a person should contact a doctor.
Additionally, regular exercise that includes short, low impact physical activities daily may help reduce back pain. A physical therapist or doctor can provide exercise recommendations.
Disk Degeneration And Bone Spurs
As the disks in the spine age, they lose height and begin to bulge. They also lose water content, begin to dry out and weaken. This problem causes settling, or collapse, of the disk spaces and loss of disk space height. Eventually, the cushioning qualities of the disks begins to decrease.
As the facet joints experience increased pressure, they also begin to degenerate and develop arthritis, similar to what may occur in the hip or knee joint. The smooth, slippery articular cartilage that covers and protects the joints wears away.
If the cartilage wears away completely, it can result in bone rubbing on bone. To make up for the lost cartilage, your body may respond by growing new bone in your facet joints to help support the vertebrae. Over time, this bone overgrowth called bone spurs may narrow the space for the nerves and spinal cord to pass through . Bone spurs may also lead to decreased range of motion in the spine.
Side view of a healthy cervical vertebra and disk. A disk that has degenerated and collapsed.
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What Can Arthritis Lead To
Arthritis is a medical condition that can lead to pain and inflammation in the joints. In some cases, arthritis can also lead to problems in the bones and muscles around the joints. In severe cases, arthritis can even lead to disability.
There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints breaks down. This can happen due to age, injury, or overuse of the joints.
If left untreated, arthritis can eventually lead to joint damage and deformity. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and slow down the progression of the disease. One such treatment is physical therapy.
How Do I Get Ready For Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Ask your healthcare provider how you should prepare for your surgery. Ask if you should stop taking any medicines ahead of time, like blood thinners. If you are a smoker, you should try to quit before your surgery. Youll need to avoid eating or drinking after the midnight before your procedure. Your healthcare provider may order additional imaging of your spine before your surgery, such as an MRI.
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How Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Cervical Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease in which the immune system, which is designed to attack foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses, mistakenly attacks other healthy areas of the body, including the spines facet joints and even organ systems. Untreated, attacked joints can become deformed and lose their mobility.
When it comes to spine pain, a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is limited to the cervical spine. People can have problems, such as facet joint arthritis, further down the spine, but this is likely not due to RA. It is possible to have both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis at the same time.
If you have RA, you are part of a group of 1.3 million other Americans who have the disease.1 The disease causes morning joint stiffness that can last one to two hours or the whole day. It generally improves with movement of the joints. Other signs and symptoms include loss of energy, low fevers, loss of appetite, and lumps in the elbows and hands, called rheumatoid nodules. About 75% of RA patients are women, but cervical spine involvement is more common in male patients and those with a positive rheumatoid factor.
When rheumatoid arthritis loosens ligaments, erodes bone or causes thickened tissue around the atlantoaxial joint, it can compress the spinal cord and brain stem, which can lead to paralysis or even death if the neck is moved in certain positions. Fortunately, there are many treatments to avoid these outcomes.
Make Sure Your Doctor Knows About All Medications Vitamins And Supplements
Talk to your doctor about which pain medications are best for you. Be sure to let your doctor know what other medications you are taking, even for other health problems. Besides other drugs you take, tell your doctor about any vitamins, supplements or herbal products you use. This can help you to avoid drug interactions. Here are other tips for safely using medication.
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Treatment Options For Spinal Arthritis
For many patients, the first thing that comes to mind when they think about treatment for spinal arthritis is surgery. While surgery is a solution, it is not the only solution. In fact, many patients who suffer from this condition are able to find a lot of relief from non-surgical treatments.
Read about some of the spinal arthritis treatment options below so youre familiar with some of them before you talk to spine specialist.
What Is Spinal Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the spine. Osteoarthritis of the spine, also called Facet Joint Arthritis, is common for some as we age. It is an arthritis-like condition of the spine that can be a significant source of back and neck pain. Its often caused by:
- A breakdown of the cartilage in the facet joints which link together the spines vertebrae. The joints become inflamed, triggering pain signals in nearby nerve endings.
- Abnormal bony growths, called osteophytes or bone spurs, that grow on the vertebrae.
This degenerative process can lead to pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. The osteoarthritic process usually occurs slowly, over a number of years, and may develop alongside other degenerative spine conditions such as degenerative disc disease and/or spinal stenosis.
Lumbar facet joint disorders most commonly cause lower back pain that is characterized by a localized ache with some degree of stiffness. This pain is usually worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity. In case of spinal nerve root impingement, radicular leg pain may occur.
While the exact cause of spinal arthritis is unknown, research shows many factors contribute to both its presence and severity, including age, gender, genetic predisposition, trauma, obesity, inflammation, and loss of cartilage in joints.
Facet Joint Syndrome or Spinal Arthritis
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.