Causes of arthritis lower back pain?

Arthritis lower back pain is quite common. But, arthritis need not be the sole or even primary factor behind lower back pain.

According to the National Institute of Health, 70-85% of all people develop lower back pain at some time in their life. But, lower back ache is not always associated with arthritis.

Causes of arthritis lower back pain:

  • Tumor, infection or spine fracture

  • Polymyalgia rheumatica, spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, enteropathic arthritis

  • Epidural abscess, diskitis

  • Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis

  • Muscle or ligament tears

  • Herniated disk

  • Obesity
As you can see, arthritis can cause lower back pain, but it is only one of the many probable causes. Unfortunately, even with advanced technology, the exact cause of lower back pain remains a mystery in most cases.

Medical examination:

To diagnose arthritis lower back pain, doctors will assess current symptoms, duration of symptoms and any previous history of injury in the area. However, specialized tests are necessary to verify the absence of various diseases. Tests include:

  • X-rays and CAT scans: These will show the exact nature of internal tissues, organs, bones, muscles and fat.

  • Different tests may indicate the level of nerve and muscle function

Arthritis lower back pain: Who is vulnerable?Degeneration of the spine is a natural process of aging. However, some people seem to have a tendency to inherit arthritis.

For instance, the University Of Texas Health Science Center at Houston discovered two new genes that increase the probability of ankylosing spondylitis. Similarly, postmenopausal women are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis of the spine than men.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, all post-menopausal women below the age of 65 need to undergo tests for osteoporosis.

Symptoms of arthritis induced lower back pain:

The most common symptoms of arthritic lower back pain include pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness of the back. In general, patients may experience more pain in the mornings. Symptoms develop gradually and most people ignore them until the pain begins to interfere with their life.

Treatment:

Arthritis induced lower back pain can be treated only after causes have been ascertained. Treatment generally focuses on lowering pain and enabling patients to lead a normal life.

Therefore, muscle relaxants, pain relievers and non-inflammatory medications may be prescribed.

Alternative forms of treatment focus on strengthening the muscles, increasing general fitness levels, losing weight and improving immunity.

Guided exercise programs can also help improve strength of the muscles and bones.

Surgical procedures are relatively rare in arthritis that affects the lower back. However, in severe cases, open surgery may be the only option.

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