Could you be suffering from low back arthritis?

Understanding back arthritis:

Back pain is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose. One reason for the ambiguity is the fact that there could be so many reasons for the pain. Arthritis is just one of them.

Who gets it?

Back arthritis or lumbar spine arthritis could strike patients of any age although it is mostly seen in the aged.

People who have suffered from injuries in the back or those who are involved in heavy physical labor also have a greater tendency of developing lumbar spine arthritis.

A small number of people may suffer from congenital spinal stenosis, although this occurs mostly in men.

Understanding low back arthritis:

In this kind of arthritis, the joints that connect each vertebra become arthritic. As a result, movements of the spine become stiff and painful.

As a rule, back arthritis is seen in conjunction with other back problems like disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. In both these cases, the vertebra wears out, causing pain and inflammation.

Ultimately, these conditions lead to back arthritis.

How does it feel?

Typically, pain caused by lumbar spine arthritis varies with individuals. However, the most common symptoms are:

  • Pain that is mostly in the back although it radiates to the left or right.
  • A ‘burning’ pain in the legs or buttocks It is due to these differences in pain sensations that lumbar arthritis is so hard to diagnose.

Treatment:

Treatment for lumbar spine arthritis generally depends on the symptoms. It begins with easy, simple measures and may become more complex if the patient does not find pain relief.

NSAIDs:

These help arrest inflammation and pain. When inflammation is reduced, pain lets up naturally. Studies have also found that pain can lead to release of certain chemicals which in turn trigger inflammation within the body.

Therefore, pain and inflammation are interrelated. However, long term use of NSAIDs is undersirable and must be avoided.

Epidural injections:

These steroidal injections are administered directly into the affected area. They can greatly reduce pain and inflammation. However, they may also produce undesirable side effects.

Surgery:

This is the last option and is rarely exercised.

Alternative treatments:

A number of treatment methods like acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy and natural remedies may also provide tremendous relief from pain although there are no studies to establish the effectiveness of these treatment methods.

Ice and heat applications:

Pain caused by lumbar spine arthritis may be managed through heat and cold applications in the affected area. Ice is best used for immediate relief from acute pain whereas heat applications help relax the pain gradually.

Supplementation:

Several food supplements help the body fight inflammation and fight pain. The intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex are beneficial. So also, the use of natural herbs like Gingko helps reduce localized inflammation.

Low back arthritis is painful and uncomfortable. It can seriously restrict your mobility. But, by understanding the symptoms and starting treatment early on, it is possible to slow down the progress of the disease effectively.

Related topics:

Learn on other major Arthritis types, causes and treatment.

Return to Arthritis Treatments Relief Home.


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